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2017 Polish American Festival of Western New York

Looking for treble? 
John Gora & Gorale
Before the Parade
Polish Canadian musicians
 This year (July 16, 2017) we will have as Special Honorary Grand Marshal, Polish Senator and Secretary of State of the Republic of Poland, Anna Maria Anders. She is also the daughter of famous WW2 hero General Wladyslaw Anders. This is the highest ranked official from Poland in our parade since WW2. Other out of town guests in the parade include the Consul General of the Republic of Poland in New York, Honorary Consul of the Republic of Poland in Las Vegas, and President of the Kosciuszko Foundation. If you are a member of a church, school. business, band, dance group, non profit organization, fire department, police force, etc we would like you to participate in our parade. Let's show our great guests how much Polish pride our area has.
Thursday, July 13, 2017 – Sunday, July 16, 2017
CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. – The Town of Cheektowaga and the Cheektowaga Chamber of Commerce will partner to organize and run the 39th Annual Cheektowaga Polish American Arts Festival in Town Park.

“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to partner with the Town of Cheektowaga to facilitate the 2017 Polish Festival. A strong part of the mission of our Cheektowaga Chamber of Commerce is to promote the community and the businesses within it. This partnership provides an opportunity to do just that, and we encourage our members and the business community to consider getting involved as we celebrate the Polish heritage,” said Cheektowaga Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Kristina Groff.

Bands scheduled to perform are as follows in order of appearance: Cheektowaga Community Symphony Orchestra (Cheektowaga, NY); Special Delivery (Cheektowaga, NY); The Touch (Buffalo, NY); Rare Vintage (Cheektowaga, NY); Villa Maria Chorale (Cheektowaga, NY – featured during the Polish mass ceremony); Lenny Gomulka & Chicago Push Orchestra (Ludlow, MA); The Boys (Millersville, MD); Polish Heritage Dancers of WNY (Buffalo, NY); and The Beat (Randolph, NJ).

The General Pulaski Association will be holding their annual parade down Harlem Road to Town Park on Sunday, July 16th.

All all proceeds from the event will benefit the Chamber’s charitable works and the Cheektowaga Senior Center Foundation and Cheektowaga Youth Foundation.  

The Town’s partnership with a non-profit falls in line with Supervisor Diane Benczkowski’s goal to find alternative ways to create a sustainable method to fund the many festivals held in Cheektowaga each year.

A public-private partnership in 2016 for the Crabapple Festival and Polish American Arts Festival resulted in thousands of dollars in savings for taxpayers and similar results are expected for 2017.

What is Pulaski Day and why is it celebrated?
General Pulaski Memorial Day is a United States holiday in honor of General Kazimierz Pułaski (spelled Casimir Pulaski in English), a Polish hero of the American Revolution. This holiday is held every year on October 11 by Presidential Proclamation, to commemorate his death from wounds suffered at the Siege of Savannah on October 9, 1779 and to honor the heritage of Polish Americans. The observance was established in 1929 when Congress passed a resolution (Public Resolution 16 of 1929) designating October 11 as General Pulaski Memorial Day. Every President has issued a proclamation for the observance annually since (except in 1930).

 This is separate holiday from the regional holiday in the Chicago area titled Casimir Pulaski Day that commemorates Pulaski's birth on March 4, 1746.

Regional celebrations
New York City has an annual Pulaski Day Parade and Grand Rapids, Michigan holds Pulaski Days at this time. Some areas with large Polish-American populations instead celebrate Casimir Pulaski Day on the first Monday of every March, marking Pulaski's March 4, 1746 birth. Wisconsin, Illinois, Kentucky and Indiana have state recognition of this holiday, which is particularly popular in Chicago and Milwaukee.

 General Pulaski's Day is a holiday recognized by the state of Kentucky, United States "in commemoration of the death of revolutionary General Casimir Pulaski". General Pulaski's Day is observed on October 11 of every year in Kentucky. General Pulaski's Day was created by a statute enacted by the Kentucky General Assembly sometime prior to 1942.

History of the battle and Pulaski's role
 The Siege of Savannah was an encounter of the American Revolutionary War in 1779. The year before, the city of Savannah, Georgia had been captured by a British expeditionary corps under Lieutenant-Colonel Archibald Campbell. The siege itself consisted of a joint Franco-American attempt to retake Savannah from September 16, 1779 to October 18, 1779. On October 9, 1779, a major assault against the British siege works failed. During the attack, Polish Count Kazimierz Pułaski, fighting on the American side, was mortally wounded. With the failure of the joint American-French attack, the siege failed, and the British remained in control of Georgia until July 1782, close to the end of the war.

The battle is much remembered in Haitian history; the Fontages Legion, consisting of over 500 gens de couleur—free men of color from Saint-Domingue—fought on the French side. Henri Christophe, who later became king of independent Haiti, is thought to have been among these troops.

  • Acting Consul General of Poland Honorable Mareusz Stąsiek
  • Bishop John Mack of the Polish National Catholic Church
  • ​Restauranteur Russell Salvatore
  • WIVB TV 4 Anchor Don Postles
  • M*A*S*H* TV Emmy Award Winner Loretta Swit

Grand Marshal: Marian Kreutzer

Previously-Names Grand Marshals:
  • Bishop Edward M. Grosz
  • Former Congressman Henry Nowak
  • Erie County Sheriff Timothy B. Howard
  • Cheektowaga Councilman Jerry Kaminski
  • Erie County Comptroller Stefan Mychajliw
  • Erie County Legislator John Mills
  • Former Erie County Sheriff Thomas Higgins
  • Chairman of United Cultural Society Joseph Mikołaj Rej Jr. 

Pulaski Parade Countess:  Olivia Nasternak
2016 & 2017 Polish American Festival of Western New York

***July 13-16, 2017***