Fueling folk dancing with kielbasa and sauerkraut sandwiches, Long Islanders gathered this past weekend at the 2012 Polish Fair & Polka Festival in Riverhead. An annual tradition since the early 1970s, the two-day family event was filled with Polish music, food, arts, crafts, and entertainment, and took place in Riverhead’s Polish Town.
I brought my camera and snapped some pics of the attendees, some of Polish descent and some who just came to polka.
Vito Leonczwk: “I love the Polish Fair. It’s a tradition in my family. I’m from Poland, so it’s especially important to me. We come every year.”
Lori Wiest-Gleason: “I was Miss Polish Town in 1980 and my sister Christine Miss Hemsptead in 1963. We never miss a chance to come down and enjoy our heritage. This is who we are.”
Patricia Penney: “This is pure Polish pride. We’re showing what we, as Polish, can do. I’ve been coming since 1975 and there’s nothing like it.”
Michele Fitzpatrick and Pamela Timpson: “This is our heritage and we mean to keep it going. We love that people from all backgrounds can join us. We are part of the Polish Ladies Auxiliary and we’re always needing more people.”
People dancing to the Polish tunes of the Rich Bobinski Orchestra.
Here’s a slideshow with images of the festival:
Photo credit: María del Mar Piedrabuena.