BRISTOL - St. Stanislaus Church will be celebrating its 30th annual Dozynki festival Sept. 9-10.
The event always kicks off a little early on the Friday before the festival with the church’s tag sale, which will run Sept. 8 from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m and both days of the festival.
On Sept. 9, the festival will be preceded by a Mass at 3 p.m., during which the parish choir will be performing. Dozynki festivities continue until 10 p.m.
On Sunday, Sept. 10, Mass will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m. and the festival runs to 7 p.m. During this Mass, the Polonia-Paderewski Choir, from New Britain, will perform.
“They’re a very, very accomplished group,” said the Rev.. Raymond Smialowski, pastor of St. Stanislaus.
Sunday’s Mass will also be marked by the blessing of the bread and shared with those in the church and on the grounds.
“Dozynki is a harvest festival,” Smialowski said. “It’s a way of celebrating and thanking God for the harvest. And you’re celebrating life and the Polish culture.”
Dozynki, which serves as a fundraiser for the church, will feature a number of musical and dance performances.
All the food is prepared by members of the parish or a parish organization. Among the Polish selections will be favorites such as pierogi, kielbasa, potato pancakes, sauerkraut, golumbki and more.
Smialowski said there will also be a BBQ booth, selling ribs, French fries and other dishes, as well as booths selling hot dogs and hamburgers, fried dough, homemade bread and Polish desserts, including angel wings, paczki and Polish-style crepes.
Wine and Polish beer will also be available.
Smialowski said there will be a number of crafters and a mum and pumpkin sale.
Dozynski will also feature a 12-prize raffle with $2 tickets. The first place prize is a $1,500 gas gift card, second place is $500 cash, third, fourth and fifth is a $500 gift card to various grocery stores, and other winners will receive smaller gift cards to other businesses. The drawing will be held Sunday at 7 p.m. Winners do not need to be present.
The festival will also have a special spot for children, called the “kid zone,” Smialowski said. It will be run by the parish’s Youth Ministry Group, and feature a number of activities and games.
The church will also have a new shuttle service available this year. There’s usually plenty of parking, Smialowski said, but sometimes the streets around the church can get crowded. A free shuttle bus will run every 15 minutes, and possibly at shorter intervals during peak times, between the church and the downtown Centre Square.
“You never usually have to walk more than a block or two, but that can be difficult for the elderly, so we wanted to do a shuttle service,” said Smialowski.