Polish Cultural Club of Greater Hartford
HARTFORD - The 38th annual Szopka Festival and Competition, sponsored by the Polish Cultural Club of Hartford, was held Sunday, Nov. 25, at the Polish National Home.
Visitors from Connecticut and beyond enjoyed the colorful atmosphere of a Polish Christmas fair and the display of szopki, the elaborate, highly decorated creches created by schoolchildren, with winners receiving cash prizes.
Thirty-one young artists participated in the competition, with 19 entries submitted for judging. The following awards were made:
First place: Jameson and Maja Fisher, St. James School, Manchester.
Second place (tie): Molly Melia and Clara Covill, St. James School, and Fabrizia Spadaccini, also of St. James School.
Third place: Ryan Cnacaga, Drew Burnham and David Lamonica, St. James School.
Honorable mentions went to Annabelle Kruger, Stefan Barbieri and Madeline Dube of St. James School, and to the Hartford Polish Sunday School and the Hartford Polish Scouts.
Maya Sejdor of the Polish Saturday School won the Junior Szopka Maker Award.
The Polish Cultural Club’s Marek Czarnecki, the competition chairman, visited schools and organizations to talk about the history, meaning and development of the art of szopka making, and Carol Oleasz encouraged students at St. James School to get involved and worked with them as the crafted their szopki.
Children too young to build a szopka still participated in the tradition by coloring drawings of szopki. The drawings were also displayed at the festival.
All proceeds from the Szopka Festival will benefit the club’s Jennie Marconi Javorski Scholarship Fund.
The Polish Cultural Club of Greater Hartford’s mission is sharing and promoting Polish heritage, both to Polonia and the general community.
Anyone interested in joining the club can find an application and other information at www.polishculturalclub.org or by phoning 860-659-0356.