‘It’s a beautiful thing’: Pulaski Days returns to Grand Rapids

Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Pulaski Days has returned for 2021, after the 2020 event was canceled because of the pandemic.

The Polish heritage festival gives people the chance to hear live Polka music and sample traditional cuisine.

The 2020 cancelation was especially difficult for long-time fans of the event like Julie Clark-Mills.

“To be told that we can’t have it is disheartening and so to have it come back to us, it’s a beautiful thing,” Clark-Mills said.

Both Clark-Mills and her neighbor Erin Wallace love going to the 6th Street Hall to celebrate, one of 14 Polish halls in Grand Rapids taking part in the festivities.

“Here it’s amazing. The food is absolutely amazing. The best Polish food that I’ve ever had the music is great, all of the staff are amazing,” Wallace said.

Jennifer Brusge, the president of the hall, says the event is a major fundraiser that helps the organization make it through the year.

In an attempt to make up some of the lost revenue, many halls served takeout food or held outdoor events.

“We did a 125th anniversary celebration last year and we had the bands outside, everything was outside,” Brusge said.

The celebration may have taken a break, but it is now back and continuing the tradition. Joe Chiaramonte, a member of the hall, is hopeful people will return to support the event. 

“I think the crowds are going to be good because people are looking forward to this,” Chiaramonte said.

The parade starts at 11 a.m. Saturday. It will run from Michigan Street and College Avenue to Michigan Street and Diamond Avenue. The event ends on Sunday.

A complete schedule of events can be found online.

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