Family Fun at the Polish American Family Festival & Country Fair
Doylestown, PA – Once again, the Polish American Family Festival and Country Fair at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa draws tremendous crowds of people from all over, seeking an enjoyable, family-friendly day of fun and festivities, including music, dancing, a Polish Village, historical reenactors, midway rides and games!
The Festival is an annual tradition, which began when the Shrine first opened, and is held each year during the first two weekends of September, beginning on Labor Day Weekend. Opening weekend drew 18,000 visitors alone, even with a rainy Labor Day which forced the Festival to be moved inside the Shrine’s roomy Cafeteria. Normally the Festival admission price is $12 per person, but attendees appreciated the free admission on Monday due to the rain, and, by all accounts, it was still a fun day filled with fun and excitement!
Hundreds of volunteers keep up a long-standing tradition of staffing the Festival, with some families entering their second and third generations of volunteers! Event visitors enjoyed ample parking on the Shrine grounds, and did not mind sometimes waiting in line to enjoy the delicious authentic Polish and American cuisine, including Pierogis, Potato Placki, Grilled Kielbasa, Golabki, Hot Dogs, Chicken, Polish Ice, Funnel Cakes, Polish Fries…the list goes on and on! Visitors also got to enjoy a variety of Polish beers, as well as a Polish vodka tasting and wine tasting from local wineries. With close to 100 vendors, families also enjoyed browsing through the Crafters’ and Vendors’ Village, stopping to purchase beautiful hand-crafted items, including handmade and imported jewelry, quilts, dolls, toys, decorations, bags, children’s clothes, and so much more.
There was no shortage of amusement and entertainment, including Festival sweepstakes (to win a trip to Rome) and exciting Midway Rides and Games, as well as world-class and local entertainment on two stages (the Pavilion Main Stage and Village Stage), featuring various musicians, bands, orchestras and folk dance groups, including The Golden Tones; The Eddie Forman Orchestra; Polish Band “No Problem”; DJ Grzegorz; The John Stevens Polka Band; Heroes featuring Eddie Biegaj; Polish Band “Nova Dance Band”; Polish Band “Top Dance Band”; The Polka Family Band, Robbie Lawrence & the Steelworkers; and DJ Joe Narodowski. Truly something for everyone, with lots of dancing and merrymaking!
The Polish Village is a favorite attraction at the Festival, providing guests an opportunity to experience life in Poland firsthand with music, dancing and special presentations on the Village Stage throughout the day. They also see demonstrations of how to decorate Easter Eggs (Pisanki), how to make kapusta (sauerkraut), purchase handmade items and taste some traditional foods. Educational historical reenactments and displays are provided by various groups, including a replica of a Polish village, a camp of the 17th century Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, a World War II reenactment, as well as demonstrations of historic weaponry with interesting exhibits and presentations by Polish Warriors and soldiers from the 16th-20th Centuries! Guests enjoy visiting the Schoolhouse for children’s games, face painting, crafts and more by the Czestochowa Polish Language School. There is also an impressive presentation of Polish Tatra Sheepdogs, a rare breed of dog originally introduced into Southern Poland’s Tatra Mountains by Vlachian (Romanian) shepherds, and first brought from Poland to the United States in the 1980s.
And, of course, the mainstay of the Polish people is their strong Catholic Faith, with a full schedule of Masses at the Shrine (see flyer for schedule). All are invited to visit the Shrine Church and Chapels, Exhibition Halls, Cafeteria, Religious Articles Center, and outdoor prayer areas. Many groups make pilgrimages to the Shrine during the Festival, including the Polish-Slavic Federal Credit Union, which included 22 buses from New York and New Jersey, Solemn Mass at 12:30pm, a Pilgrimage of Haitians, mostly from New York, which included a Mass in Creole at Our Lady of Czestochowa Chapel-Lower Church (mostly from New York).
The Polish American Family Festival and Country Fair is open again this weekend, Saturday and Sunday, September 7 & 8, from 12Noon to 8pm. For more information visit the following links:
Entertainment Schedule: http://polishamericanfestival.org/?page_id=78
About the American Czestochowa
Mary, your home upon the hill rises above the land to fill it with light. And as fate would have it, to be for it an ever-shining sign of God’s grace.
Towering over the Pennsylvania landscape, the American Czestochowa is a place where the faithful can feel the special radiance of Mary’s presence and experience Her motherly love and intercession. It is not merely a sanctuary or the monastery of the Pauline Fathers, it is above all a place where man meets God, finds healing, forgiveness, mercy, and strength through His graces. It is thanks to her, the one who shows us Jesus and leads us to Him. Mary is the Hodegetria, “She who shows the Way.” She is the one who, not only with her hand, but with her whole life, shows us the best and surest way to salvation: Jesus Christ.
In this sacred place have been heard the same words from her for more than sixty years: “Do everything, whatever He (Jesus) tells you.” Everyone who visits this place – be it distinguished persons such as presidents of the United States (Lyndon B. Johnson and Ronald Regan), holy people like Karol Wojtyła (now Pope Saint John Paul II), or just a humble pilgrim who prayed here, confessed their sins here, received Holy Communion – all have left this place transformed, richer and more beautiful spiritually, strengthened in their faith. Hundreds of thousands of small and great miracles, recorded upon the pages of books and within the human heart, have occurred and continue to occur each day in this place.
For more information about the American Czestochowa, please visit www.Czestochowa.us.
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