NEW BRITAIN - With its Polish food and Polish folk dancers in colorful costumes and the outdoor Mass that draws hundreds, plans for the city’s annual Dozynki, a Polish festival celebrating the harvest, are well underway, according to organizers.
The two-day event Aug. 26 and 27 will kick off at Falcon Field with a traditional outdoor Mass at 11 a.m. Aug. 26, celebrating the harvest with Archbishop Leonard Blair, said co-chairman Richard Pokorski. The Mass is held under the pavilion with an altar filled with the bounty of the harvest.
“It’s the highlight of the festival,” Pokorski said. “It gives thanks for the harvest and kicks off the festival in an appropriate way.”
This year, Dozynki will celebrate the 65th anniversary of the Polonia Paderewski Choir, which will also perform, and the 110th anniversary of Polish Falcons Nest 88 in New Britain.
The festival has been sponsored by the Polish American Council for 37 years as a way of keeping Polish traditions alive.
The festival dates back at least 1,000 years in Poland, according to Roman Nowak, the president of the Polish American Council, and is held in cities with large Polish populations throughout the United States.
“It’s not just for Polonia (those of Polish descent not living in Poland) but for everyone,” Novak said. It’s not only a chance to enjoy all types of fresh Polish food and culture, but also a chance to catch up old friends, Novak said.
“Sometimes I see people once a year at Dozynki,” he said.
It’s important to continue the festival to maintain traditions, Pokorski said.
The weekend will be filled with food and vendors selling Polish goods. Groups will perform Polish folk dancing and Polish bands will be playing both Saturday and Sunday.
Nowak and Pokorski estimate that about 5,000 people will attend over the course of the two-day event. Admission is free, but parking is $5 per car. The money from parking goes to pay police, provide scholarships for Polish students and to make a donation to the New Britain Police Explorers, who help with the festival, Nowak said.
Festival organizers are looking for sponsors to help defray the cost of the event and volunteers to help throughout the weekend, Pokorski said. Anyone who wants to be a sponsor or volunteer their time can call 860-491-4910.