The longstanding tradition returned to 14 Polish halls this weekend, with polka and rock bands firing up stages and lots of pierogi and beer doled out to revelers. Photo gallery.
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“Keep calm and polka on.”
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Amid the hubbub of ArtPrize’s award night and a myriad of other October-commencing celebrations, a longstanding Grand Rapids tradition returned this week to 14 Polish halls across the city.
Pulaski Days, celebrating Polish culture, food and music — as well as rock ‘n’ roll — revved up in earnest on Friday, sporting its “keep calm and polka on” theme and drawing thousands of revelers, some of whom roamed club to club to experience the liveliness and libations of this historic event that dates back to 1973 in Grand Rapids.
Ok, we’re not really sure how many folks actually know that Gen. Casimir Pulaski was a Revolutionary War hero and Polish immigrant who sacrificed his life for the cause of liberty.
And most of them probably don’t know that the polka is actually a Czech dance that originated in Bohemia, now part of the Czech Republic, not Poland.
What we do know is that tons of pierogi and kielbasa — and many barrels of beer — got rolled out in robust fashion, from Diamond Hall (St. Isidore’s Benevolent Aid Society), Eastern Avenue Hall (Sacred Heart Society of St. Isidore’s Church) and Little Hall on the East Side to Polish Falcons, Kosciuszko Hall, Sixth Street Hall and many more on the West Side.
Entertainment ranged from the polka-driven strains of Trent Urbytes & Polka Selection at Diamond Hall to the rock of The Hype and Project 90 at Eastern Avenue Hall (the 2021 “Hall of the Year”).
Browse the Local Spins photo gallery below and remember: There are two more days of Polish festivities remaining as part of Pulaski Days, with the Pulaski Days Parade kicking off at 11 a.m. Saturday at Michigan Street and College Avenue.
Check out the full schedule online here.
PHOTO GALLERY: Pulaski Days at Eastern Avenue Hall by Anthony Norkus
Diamond Hall by John Sinkevics