HARTFORD - Thanksgiving is only a week away, but at the Polish Cultural Club of Greater Hartford Inc., they’re already thinking about Christmas!
The highly anticipated 38th annual Szopka Festival, sponsored by the Polish Cultural Club of Greater Hartford, returns to the Polish National Home, 60 Charter Oak Ave., on Sunday, Nov. 25, from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Numerous vendors will be on hand, selling Polish amber and stoneware pottery, jewelry, original Christmas cards and ornaments, honey, books, and handmade crafts for Christmas gift-giving.
The Country Kitchen will again be preparing and serving delicious potato,/cheese or sauerkraut pierogi, babki, kielbasa, opłatki, and other Polish delicacies. Pączki and coffee will also be available.
The Szopka Festival tradition has its origins in the Polish city of Krakow. The szopka contains a model of the manger where Jesus was born, elaborately decorated. Polish peasants created the elaborate szopka as a way to provide the Christ Child with a more beautiful birthplace than a humble stable.
A well-known Polish artist and iconographer, Marek Czarnecki, is currently instructing students in the art of creating a szopka for the annual Szopka Competition, which will be held on Saturday, Nov. 24, and is open to children and adults.
Entries will be judged and cash prizes awarded. Further information about the contest can be found on www.polishculturalclub.org . Szopki created for the competition will be on display during the festival on Sunday.
Also on Sunday, a Polish buffet will be available for purchase in the Polish National Home dining room from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Reservations are suggested for parties of 8 or more by calling 860-247-1784.
Admission to the Szopka Festival is free and the public is welcome. Free parking is available.
The proceeds from this event are used to benefit the Jennie Marconi-Javorski Scholarship Fund of the Polish Cultural Club. The Polish Cultural Club of Greater Hartford is an affiliate of the national American Council for Polish Culture.