Polish People Proudly Preserve Gen. Pulaski’s Legacy in Parade

8 Oct
Polish Children Proudly waving flag

Polish Children Proudly waving flag

Red and white flags were seen all over the parade route on 5th Ave. from 34th to 48th Sts. in the 76th annual Pulaski Day parade where thousands of Polish and Slavic people from the tristate area came to remember the great Gen. Pulaski and his contribution to shaping America during Revolutionary times. Once I got to 5th Ave. and 42nd St at around 12:30, I could hear the Polish national anthem being sung with so much passion by the many spectators. I knew this would be a fun day filled with many traditional costumes and marching bands. Keeping with tradition, paired off couples were given salted bread and wine as a symbolic gesture. Typically local and national politicians are part of the ceremony but with the government shutdown in effect, their absence was expected. Parade VIPs and honorary guests including Guardian Angel founder Curtis Sliwa marched up the parade route. One of the largest motorcycle groups I have seen at any parade this year rolled on by making thunderous noise to the delight of the crowd. There must have been at least 200 bikes in all.

Traditional Breaking of the Bread

Traditional Breaking of the Bread

Curtis Sliwa

Curtis Sliwa

Polish Bikers

Polish Bikers

The rest of the parade was organized by region. The first and largest region to march came from different parts of NY State with the biggest section coming from NYC, of course. Each group has it’s own beauty queen or Miss Polonia. Polish people are religious and many of the churches sent their representatives to march as well. One of the best displays was on a float dedicated to the soon to be cannonized Pope John Paul II from Poland.  It was quite remarkable to see how all the children were dressed in traditional costume.  They were having more fun than the adults it seemed. Well except for a traditional Polish dance group that really had fun dancing. The next region to march came in from Connecticut. They were a small group but loud and fun. The last region to march came from New Jersey. Many towns sent in their High School marching bands.  One of the more notable bands came from Linden. They really performed well. Following them came an even more impressive band from Passaic. Their horn section was really amazing. A personal favorite is when the group from Wallington rolled up with the mayor riding in an original Duesenberg..very impressive. There was a fun float that had a Polish band playing pop music. I couldn’t understand what they were saying but they were having a good time.  The crowd was definitely getting into it.   As far as ethnic parades go, this was one of the better ones with lots of traditional costume and music played.  One of the best signs at the parade summed it up best…Always Represent Polska.

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