Polish Day (8/27/2009)

Event pushes right buttons

“If you have an accordion in the closet gathering dust, this is a perfect time to dig it out.”

Aundrea Cika

Polish Day spokeswoman

Attendees who arrive with an accordion will get free admission.

AUSTINTOWN — If you’ve ever thought about playing the accordion but were just too intimidated by all those buttons, here’s your chance.

The PolishYoungstown organization is offering Accordion 101, a get-acquainted session with the polka instrument. It will be a part of Polish Day, which is this Sunday at St. Anne’s Catholic Church, at South Raccoon and Kirk roads.

“It’s part of our effort to introduce young people to this fun instrument,” said Lisa Lotze, committee chair and a closet accordion owner. “Our goal is to offer a hands-on experience for both young and old alike. Once you try it, it’s hard not to get hooked.”

The event will have an accordion petting zoo and informational sessions with experienced accordionists who can answer questions.

Accordions will also be on display. Members of the public who have an accordion to lend for display, are experienced teachers or are just interested in helping can call Lotze at (330) 549-0124.

Polish Day attendees who arrive with an accordion will get free admission. They can also participate in a “dueling accordions” jam session.

“If you have an accordion in the closet gathering dust, this is a perfect time to dig it out,” said Aundrea Cika, Polish Day spokeswoman.

Polish Day, now in its second year, will begin with a polka Mass at 11:30 a.m. with the Rev. Joe Rudjak as celebrant.

Two polka bands will provide music all day.

Local disc jockey Larry Walk will broadcast his Happy Polkaland radio show — now in its 46th year — live from Polish Day.

Walk, of Austintown, broadcasts from 1 to 4 p.m. every Sunday on WSOM, AM-600. He was inducted into the International Polka Association’s Polka Hall of Fame in Chicago in 1994.

There will also be polka lessons and demonstrations, as well as folk-dance performances.

Polish Day will also feature a series of free 30-minute educational workshops.

Presenters will include Andy Danus of Catholic War Veterans (1 p.m.); Polish pottery (1:30 p.m.); Larry Kozlowski on Polish confections (3 and 3:30 p.m.); traveling in Poland (one-hour session at 4 p.m.); and Sherry Linkon on Polish Voices in Youngstown (one-hour session at 2 p.m.).

Polish genealogy expert Pam Burgess will also give a workshop on tracing family trees in Europe, a task that is made difficult by Poland’s history.

The country has been under the domination of other nations at different periods, and government records for Poles born during those times can be found only in Russia and other countries.

A Polish food buffet will be available, with pierogies, haluski, potato pancakes and more; and a bakery-deli will offer homemade paczki doughnuts, kielbasa, kieszka and other items. Polish beer and vodka will be available.

There will be a gift basket auction and a vendor marketplace with Polish pottery, amber jewelry, wooden eggs and folk and iconic art.

There will also be free children’s activities.

(source: vindy.com)


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