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Polish Festival in Staten Island

From Nowy Dziennik
May 20, 2002

By Wojciech T. Mleczko

Over six thousand people gathered at the Yankees-Richmond County Bank Ballpark on Staten Island last Saturday to celebrate "Majowka," the first Polish festival ever held in Staten Island. The five-hour long event ended with a concert of a popular Polish rock group Budka Suflera.

It was raining until noon, but that did not discourage the crowds from coming out to being a part of the festival. After a short prayer led by Father Marek Suchocki and a minute of silence honoring those who died in the tragic events of September 11th, a group of children from Richard’s School of Dance came on the stage. The audience was exhilarated by the lively rhythm of cha-cha, samba and rumba.

The event was conducted in Polish and English and it was hosted by Anna Zak and Marek Skowronski. Nearly the entire afternoon was filled with musical and artistic performances of Polish groups and individuals including E1H from Las Vegas, Polamany Jezyk, Lubelska Federacja Bardow z Wojciechem Cugowskim and Michal Hochman. But it was the performance of Budka Suflera that truly stirred up excitement in the audience. The popular songs by this band made the crowds dance, sing, and demand an encore.

Among the prominent individuals present at the event were Consul General of Poland Agnieszka-Magdziak-Miszewska, Consul Cezary Dziurkowski, Consul Anna Pelka, President of Staten Island James Molinaro, Krystyna Myssura from the office of Gov. George Pataki and representatives of several Polish organizations in New York.

"Majowka" was the first festival promoting Polish culture and traditions in Staten Island. The sponsors

of the event say they will try to make "Majowka" into an annual fair. The revenue from the event will be allotted to the General Pulaski Scholarship Fund and St. Stanislaw Kostka Parish in Staten Island.

"Majowka" received a full page coverage in the Staten Island Advance which reported that the borough was awakened from lethargy by this lively Polish festival. The planned soccer game Nowy Dziennik v. Super Express (another Polish daily in New York) unfortunately did not take place. Our friends from Super Express changed their mind last minute and so we won 3:0.

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