GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) —The 46th annual Pulaski Days will go full throttle in Grand Rapids Friday.
All 14 Polish halls and fraternal organizations in Grand Rapids will open their doors for free to the public.
“Pulaski Days was founded by Walt Ulanch and Ed Czyzyk. They were two gentlemen that said we got to keep our polish halls, our 14 polish halls and fraternal organizations going. How do we do that? They created Pulaski Days which was in retrospect for Gen. Casimir Pulaski, who was the brigadier general that fought and saved George Washington in the (Revolutionary) War,” said Michelle Kershner, the Chairwoman for Pulaski Days.
New this year, there will be a beer that can only be found at the halls.
“This year we unveiled a new beer and it’s called Casimir Reserve. New Holland came to us last year and said ‘Hey Michelle, let’s put together a unique beer for each of the 14 polish halls,’” said Kershner.
Hall leaders say the unique beer is going to go fast. If you want to be among the first to taste it, the Diamond Avenue Hall opens its doors at 7 a.m. Friday.
“Our clubs are predicting they will probably run out by 6 p.m. Friday, it’s that special. We can’t wait,” Kershner said.
Pulaski Days are all about food, fellowship and fun.
“Its great fun. What I’ll tell you is music, dancing and opportunity to be really embraced by people who are lifelong friends. I think that is what makes the Polish community so unique,” said Kershner.
It’s not just the Casimir Reserve by New Holland that is worth tasting, it will also be all the traditional Polish food being served up across the West Side neighborhood and northeast Grand Rapids.
“It’s like a culinary tour. Try them all, hit them all. You will find different things like Czernina, duck blood soup, which is very unique. That’s at 5th Street Hall. Kugel you will find at Vytautas. We now have the Diamond Dog at Diamond Avenue Hall and a Kapusta Burger at 6th Street,” Kershner said.
The festivities continue all weekend long with a parade at 11 a.m. Saturday. The parade will run down Michigan Street from College to Diamond avenues. 24 Hour News 8’s Tom Hillen will be a judge for this year’s Pulaski Days parade.
“Sunday, we have a Polka Mass. If you haven’t experienced a Polka Mass, its outside in the elements so it’s a beautiful time,” said Kershner.
The Polka Mass is at 11 a.m. Sunday at John Ball Park. You are asked to bring your own lawn chair. In the event of rain, the mass will be held at 11:15 a.m. at the Knights of Columbus.
“The Polish community is very welcoming. Once you walk through the doors, you’re welcome forever. Come on in, sign a membership with one of our clubs, they would love to have you. Everybody from the young to the older,” Kershner said.