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Polish People Unite For a Dual Celebration at the Pulaski on 5th Avenue

9 Oct



Let The Party Start

   The second leg of the trifecta parade weekend was dedicated to all the Polish people in the the Tri-state area. On the first Sunday of every October, Polish hero General Casimir Pulaski is honored with a loud and beautiful parade up 5th Avenue. This year’s theme was to commemorate 100 years of Restoration to Independence. The weather was perfect for a day to celebrate Polish contribution to the city and to the nation. Hundreds of thousands of people wearing red and white lined up the parade route from 36th St to 56th St. Parade VIPs, dignitaries, and media set up at the reviewing stand right in front of the majestic New York Public Library.


Miss Polonias Greeting the Crowd


Traditional Dancers


Polish Hero General Pulaski


    In this the 81st annual Pulaski Day Parade, you can see tradition being passed down right from the start. Polish Traditional Folk dancers dressed in traditional attire got things started with a traditional dance followed by the old ritual of greeting the crowd with bread and salt. The bread is a symbol of bounty and the salt represents sweat for hard work which the Polish people are well known for. As usual the mounted police kicked off the parade.


Getting Revved Up


Proud Marcher


Honorary Military Marchers


     After a large motorcycle brigade revved up their engines and the crowd, the first section from New Jersey arrived. Garfield had one of the largest marching groups. Each town had its own Miss Polonia riding in a motorcade. One of the better marching bands came from the Passaic HS Marching Band. A float from Wallington played a lively Polish song. They really got the crowd worked up. A few groups from Connecticut came down for the big event but the main groups were from Greenpoint Brooklyn, home to a large Polish population. The Poles are a very religious people and many floats were dedicated to Pope John Paul II. The St. Matthias Church float had a lively tune for the crowd. It really is a fun parade and great to see tradition passed on from one generation to the next.

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A Great Team



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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