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You’re invited to a celebration of all things Polish

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STORY WRITTEN BY BRIAN BINGAMAN
bbingaman@21st-centurymedia.com
@brianbingaman on Twitter

It’s so big that they need two weekends, including the three-day Labor Day weekend.
The 51st annual Polish American Family Festival & Country Fair is set for noon to 8 p.m. Sept. 3-5 and Sept. 10-11 on the grounds of the National Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa.
How do you even pronounce that?
Shes-tow-HOVE-uh. It takes a little practice.
Where is that?
In New Britain Township at 654 Ferry Road. A regional point of interest for religious pilgrims because of a replica of a Polish national holy relic (see www.polishamericancenter.org/Czestochowa.htm), the shrine site is also a Polish-American Catholic parish and a Polish cultural school.
What is there to do?
New this year is Airplay Entertainment’s “The Little Circus.” There will be midway rides and games; crafters and vendors with an array of jewelry, quilts, dolls, toys, decorations, bags, children’s clothes and more; a Polish Village featuring children’s games and face painting, sauerkraut making (in Poland it’s called kapusta), a Polish wedding and Dozynki harvest festival, plus medieval and World War II reenactors with living history about the Banner of Jasna Gora and Poland’s contributions to the 1945 allied victory in Europe; an art exhibit of works by Adam Stryka, and a raffle for a 2017 Mini Cooper and cash prizes. Also, keep an eye out for “Smok Wawalski” the Dragon of Krakow, and a Sept. 4 appearance by Polish-born boxer Adam “Babyface” Kownack.
Here’s what we know, so far, about who’s performing:
Saturday, Sept. 3
Walt Wagner and the Polka Serenaders (noon to 4 p.m., Main Stage).
MAKI Children’s Song and Dance.
Goralsi.
Dennis Polisky and The Maestro’s Men (4 to 8 p.m., Main Stage).
DJ Grzegorz.
Sunday, Sept. 4
TKO, noon to 4 p.m.
John Stevens and Doubleshot (4 to 8 p.m., Main Stage).
John Gora and Korona.
Goralsi.
Marika Szezepek.
MAKI Children’s Song and Dance.
Labor Day
John Gora and Gorale (noon to 4 p.m., Main Stage).
Chris and Ronnie (4 to 8 p.m., Main Stage).
Goralsi.
MAKI Children’s Song and Dance.
DJ Grzegorz.
Saturday, Sept. 10
Polka Country Musicians (noon to 4 p.m. Main Stage).
Dyna Brass (4 to 8 p.m., Main Stage).
Goralsi.
MAKI Children’s Song and Dance.
DJ Grzegorz.
Sunday, Sept. 11
Polish American String Band (noon to 4 p.m., Village Stage).
Dyna Brass.
Goralsi.
Marika Szezepek.
MAKI Children’s Song and Dance.
DJ Grzegorz.
Polish American Folk Dance Company.
So the food’s authentic Polish?
There’s both Polish and American fare, including pierogies, placki (potato pancakes) which pair well with chicken fingers, golabki (stuffed cabbage made with a rice and meat mixture, wrapped in a cabbage leaf and covered in tomato sauce), grilled and steamed kielbasa, barbecue chicken, burgers, cheesesteaks, Polish ice (find out if it’s different from Italian water ice) and ice cream, funnel cakes, and beer (you’ll need ID that shows proof of age).
What’s it cost?
Admission is $12. An additional cost is required for the thrill rides.
What if I decide to stay overnight?
Here’s a link listing the closest hotels: http://czestochowa.us/content/view/1465/1.
What are the no-nos?
Take note that no pets are permitted on the festival grounds, except for service animals; no personal food, drinks or alcohol are permitted; and video taping and/or recording of performers/performances is prohibited.
Is there more information?
Follow the festival on Twitter at @PolAmFest, visit the shrine’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/ polishamericanfestival and refer to www.polishamericanfestival.org.

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