Preparations under way for Polski Day celebration

Betty Kolenda and Cathy Kolenda Smith are preparing for the 30th annual Polski Day celebration May 3 in Kansas City, Kan. (File photo from Kathy Hanis)

by Kathy Hanis

Residents were busy preparing food today for the annual Polski Day celebration.

The 30th Annual Polski Day celebration will be held Saturday, May 3,  at All Saints Parish, at 8th and Vermont, in Kansas City, Kan.

An estimated 2,400 cabbage rolls were being prepared today for the annual event. The ingredient list included 200 pounds of cabbage, 360 pounds of ground beef, and 350 pounds of Polish sausage. The list of foods for the festival also includes 150 loaves of powitica, and 129 dozen Polish cookies.

The traditional Polski Day Parade begins at 11 a.m., at 12th and Central, and heads east on Central Avenue to 8th Street going up the wrong way on a one way street to Vermont and ends at the church. Enjoy Polish food, music, and entertainment beginning at 11 a.m. A special Polka mass will be held at 4 p.m. at All Saints Parish.

“Polski Day festivities include activities for babies to seniors, and 100 percent of the funds raised benefit All Saint’s Parish, formerly known as St. Joseph-St. Benedict’s Church,” said Cathy Kolenda-Smith, Polski Day committee member. “Polski Day has always been a day to celebrate our Polish heritage and support the Church.”

Polski Day is held annually on the first week in May to commemorate the signing of the Polish Constitution of Freedom on May 3, 1791.  Polish-Americans settled on Polish Hill, located north of Interstate 70 and west of 7th Street Trafficway, in Kansas City, Kan., where generations have carried on the heritage of their forefathers’ homeland, in Wyandotte County.

Pope John Paul II, of Polish ancestry, considered by many world leaders as one of the most influential leaders of the 20th Century, will be canonized on April 27,  2014. He was beatified on May 1, 2011, and through his endeavors strengthened Christianity throughout the world. Other Polish leaders include Casimir the Great, Copernicus, Chopin, Kosciuzsko,  Madam Sklodowska-Curie,  Marshal Jozef Pilsudski and Lech Wales, and KCK baseball player, Ray Sadecki, who was inducted into the Polish-American Hall of Fame.

Polski Day Festivities – 2014

11 a.m. – Polski Day Parade – Begins at 12th and Central, east to Vermont and south to church.

11 a.m. – 7 p.m.  Family festivities begin at St. Joseph’s Church Hall

11 a.m. to 7 p.m. – A Polish Dinner will be served in the Church Hall and will include: Golambki, (Cabbage Rolls), Pierogi, (Filled Dumplings), Kapusta, (Sauerkraut), Powitica, Kolacki, and everyone’s favorite, Kielbasa, (Polish Sausage and refreshments including Piwo). Polish artifacts will be on display in the Parish Hall and 30th Anniversary T-Shirts and Polish items for sale. Enjoy a strolling accordion serenade by Don Lipovac.

11 a.m. –7 p.m. – Entertainment

Children’s activities and food served on the Parish Grounds.

1 p.m. – 7 p.m. – Strolling with Don Lipovac in the Church Hall.

11:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. – Ed Grisnik Polka Band (outside).

3:30 p.m. – 7 p.m. – Sheelytown, from Omaha, Neb.

4 p.m. – Polka Mass – All Saints Parish, at 8th and Vermont, in Kansas City, Kan.