PARMA, Ohio — Two years after the last Celebration of Polish Constitution Weekendthe fun returns April 29 and May 1 with events planned in Parma and the Slavic Village.
“Polish Constitution Day is a celebration for the Polish people,” said Ward 2 Councilwoman Deborah A. Lime. “Parma is a community with a large Polish population.
“It is a total joy to celebrate their heritage here in the Polish village of Parma. Not being able to celebrate the past two years brings a lot of excitement this year.
Hosted by the Polish American Congress – Ohio Division in conjunction with the Polish Village of Parma, the celebration brings together Poles and those of Polish ancestry across the country and around the world to celebrate their shared heritage of freedom and democracy.
“The Polish Constitution was the first constitution outside the United States and the first in Europe,” said Aundréa Cika Heschmeyer, Polish Constitution Weekend event coordinator.
“It became a symbol of passion for freedom and love of country and all those things for Poles, so Polish-Americans embraced it. It’s a great day for the people of Parma d have the chance to embrace their Polish roots.
The weekend kicks off Friday with Polish Happy Hour at the Ridge Road Tavern. A $20 entrance fee includes a live polka jam music session, pierogi buffet, and drinks.
The Saturday fun then moves to the Slavic Village Polish American JPII Cultural Center, located at 6501 Lansing Avenue.
The “A Taste of Polish Culture” deal includes visits to the Polish Museum and Garden, a cultural program with a speech by Grand Marshal Chrostowski and an authentic homemade Polish platter for dinner.
Then on Sunday, the celebration returns to Parma beginning with a midday mass at St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church with a Polish festival to follow. Running from noon to 6 p.m., the event features ethnic vendors, a polka band, folk dancers and food trucks in the Unity Catholic Federal Credit Union parking lot.
There’s also the annual parade that departs at 3 p.m. from Parma Circle on Ridge and heads north to the Unity Catholic Federal Credit Union parking lot.
“The parade is very popular,” Heschmeyer said. “We anticipated an enthusiastic response with the participation of a number of politicians and other organizations in the region.”
This includes Parma Mayor Tim DeGeeter.
“The fact that my mother’s maiden name was Grontkowski makes it even more special,” DeGeeter said. “I’ve never missed the parade and I love going to it every year.
“It’s a great event to showcase Parma and our Polish village drawing people from all over northeast Ohio.”
The Grand Marshal of this year’s Polish Constitution Weekend is James Beard-appointed local restaurateur and humanitarian Brandon Edwin Chrostowski.
“Since I was young, I remember my dziadek (grandfather) telling us stories about Poland,” Chrostowski said in a press release. “He always ensured that traditional days were celebrated. It has always given me a sense of pride in the legacy that I share with my family today.
Chrostowski currently honors his heritage and his community by currently volunteering with the World Central Kitchen in Poland serving meals to Ukrainian refugees.
Recent events remain front and center not only for the world, but also for Polish-born Northeast Ohioans.
“Whether you are first, second or third generation Poles, Slavs are storytellers and you know the stories,” Heschmeyer said. “They refer to Poland as the playground of Europe: Attack from the east, attack from the west, march through Poland. We know what it’s like not only to be under attack, but also to be under former Soviet attack.
“Furthermore, the Polish-Ukrainian border that we hear so much about is fluid because Poland has changed its shape so much that many of our fellow citizens are Polish and Ukrainian, Polish and Lithuanian. They are our Slavic brothers, so we certainly want to support them in any way we can. »
Read more news from the Parma Sun Post here.