Along with rev­elry, Pol­ish Fest hon­ors re­birth of Poland in 1918

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel - - Green Sheet - Jim Hig­gins

Mil­wau­kee’s Pol­ish Fest has an ex­tra rea­son to cel­e­brate her­itage and cul­ture this week­end. This year is the 100th an­niver­sary of the re­birth of Poland as a na­tion in 1918.

So, in ad­di­tion to polkas, pierogi and pisanki (beau­ti­fully dec­o­rated eggs), this year Pol­ish’s Fest, which takes place Fri­day through Sun­day at Maier Fes­ti­val Park, 200 N. Har­bor Drive, will serve a slate of cul­ture and his­tor­i­cal talks.

In the late 18th cen­tury, the Pol­ishLithua­nian Com­mon­wealth had been par­ti­tioned by other Euro­pean pow­ers, dis­ap­pear­ing from the po­lit­i­cal map in 1795 (though not from the hearts of Poles, or the ef­forts of par­ti­sans). Near­ing the end of World War I, Poland re­turned to life as a sov­er­eign state with the Sec­ond Pol­ish Repub­lic in 1918.

Univer­sity of Wis­con­sin-Mil­wau­kee his­tory pro­fes­sor Neal Pease will dis­cuss “100 Years of U.S.-Pol­ish Re­la­tions, 1918-2018” at 4 p.m. Fri­day.

Pease and UWM Pro­fes­sor Emer­i­tus Don­ald Pienkos will dis­cuss the cen­ten­nial at 2:30 p.m. Satur­day, fol­lowed by a Pienkos talk on key fig­ures in the re­birth at 3:30 p.m.

Also Satur­day, UWM Pro­fes­sor Emerita He­lena Py­cior will talk about the legacy of Pol­ish na­tive Marie Curie, the first sci­en­tist to win two No­bel Prizes, at 1:30 p.m.

The Syrena Pol­ish Folk Dance Ensem­ble of Mil­wau­kee and Poland’s Warszawa Dance Group will per­form daily dur­ing the fes­ti­val.

The Chopin Youth Piano Com­pe­ti­tion will fea­ture both ju­nior (ages 10 through 14) and se­nior (15 through 18) mu­si­cians play­ing polon­aises and other com­po­si­tions by the Pol­ish com­poser. Visit the Cul­tural Stage at 3 p.m. Sun­day.

Hours: Noon to mid­night Fri­day and Satur­day, noon to 8 p.m. Sun­day

Ad­mis­sion: $12 at the gate, $10 for se­niors 55 and older; chil­dren 15 and younger get in free

Dis­counts: 50-cent ad­mis­sion from noon to 5 p.m. Fri­day, $5 ad­mis­sion Fri­day af­ter 5 p.m. Free ad­mis­sion Sun­day (Fa­ther’s Day) for dads ac­com­pa­nied by their child of any age.

Mass: Be­gins with a pre­lude at 10 a.m. Sun­day. Gates open at 9:30 a.m. Fire­works: 10:30 p.m. Satur­day Ca­puchin Run-Walk for the Hun­gry: 6 p.m. Fri­day. Info at T8upJ8. Info: pol­ish­


Anna Cieplucha ap­plies lip­stick to Emily Stoch be­fore a South­west Cen­ter of Pol­ish Danc­ing per­for­mance at Pol­ish Fest in 2015.

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