New Britain City Journal

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Dozynki Gears up for 37th Annual Harvest Festival


The harvest is complete and it is time to celebrate at the 37th Annual Dozynki Harvest Festival.

Each year in Poland a celebration takes place at this time to thank God for the bounty of the season.

On Saturday and Sunday people will come together at Falcon’s Field on Farmington Ave. to celebrate the harvest in New Britain.

This year’s festival in the City once again features a Mass, Polish food, entertainment and vendors.

The event starts off with the opening mass ceremony on Saturday at 11 a.m. with 500 to 700 people in attendance.

The Archbishop of Hartford Leonard Blair will be the main celebrant of the opening mass ceremony. Monsignor Daniel Plocharczyk of Sacred Heart will also be on hand to help and there may be others as well.

The honorees this year will include the Paderewski Polish Choir which celebrates its 65th year and Haller Post 88 which celebrates its 110th anniversary. A presentation will follow the mass and scholarships for six Polish descent college students will be given out as well.

“The highlight is definitely the mass,” said Rich Pokorski, event chairman. “The archbishop is very much looking forward to celebrating the harvest mass with us.”

Entertainment will then take place by the Polish Saturday School as well as the Polish Scouting Organization.

On Saturday afternoon, from 3-4 p.m., there will be a Talent Show. Anyone who wants to participate is invited to step up to the microphone and give it a try.

About five restaurants will be on hand to supply the crowds with traditional Polish food. There will be someone selling honey and various other vendors selling and distributing Polish products.

“It’s great to get to see people you only see once in a great while,” added Pokorski. “We do have other entertainment.”

On Saturday at 4 p.m. there will be a small group playing polka in the midway. At 6 p.m. will be a contemporary band playing in the pavillion.

On Sunday there will be a polka band from 1-5 p.m. and another contemporary band at 5 p.m. in the pavillion.

“Last year we had record crowds. This year we hope to come close to what we had last year or exceed it,” said Pokorski. “About 3,000 to 5,000 people attend.”

The event was started over 30 years ago. Originally, it was a 3-day street festival on Broad St. from Friday through Sunday. It drew people from all over New England and New York.

One year there were 50,000 to 60,000 people. The decision was made 17 years ago to move it to a more appropriate setting because it was a celebration done in the fields.

“We hope everyone comes down and keeps the Polish traditions alive,” added Pokorski. “We are looking forward to it.”

Hours are Saturday, Aug. 26 from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday Aug. 27 from noon to 10 p.m.