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11th Polish Heritage Festival will be at the Fairgrounds

Festival season in the Southtowns is about to kick off with the 11th annual Polish Heritage Festival June 7 and 8 at the Hamburg Fairgrounds.

This marks the fifth year of the festival for holding the Guinness World Record of the largest fish fry, set back in 2008 of 2,552 dinners.

The two-day festival has an extensive lineup of events designed for the whole family to celebrate the Polish culture and traditions.

James Jozwiak, president and executive director of the festival, is pleased to bring back The Polka Family and the Chardon Polka Band, which are both back by popular demand. Jozwiak expects a big crowd from Youngstown, Ohio, where the polka band is from.

“This is not your average polka band,” Jozwiak said.

And they certainly are not. According to their website, while they stay true to authentic Polka music, they aren’t afraid to bring in a type of “polka-pop” with artists such as Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga.

“We’re trying to attract the younger people to appreciate the culture,” Jozwiak said. “But we’re trying to attract people of all ages too.”

Polish food will be a highlight of the festival, which includes the Taco Keilbaso that Jozwiak created.

“I invented the wrap two years ago for people who are conscious of carbs.” Jozwiak said. “Instead of a roll, you put the sausage in a wrap. It’s easier to eat and I enjoy eating wraps.”

There also will be a festival pageant, a chrusciki bake off, and a pierogi eating contest those events will all be held on Saturday. Music of The Buffalo Touch and John Stevens Double Shot will be on hand for musical entertainment. The Ludowa Nuta (Polish Choir) will be performing on Saturday and “Live” Drive Time Polkas with Ron Dombrowski will be in Slade Park.

The Polish Heritage Festival is a non-profit organization that promotes the Polish culture and traditions. They funded a scholarship which is awarded every year, assist the Lions Club, and proceeds from these events are given in the form of a donation to an orphanage and an institute for the severely physically challenged in Poland.

The event will take place from 4-11 p.m. on June 7, and from 1-11 p.m. on June 8.


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