Full day at the fair: At the moment, I am in my hotel room taking a break from all the activity. The fair opened at noon and I go there early ready to go. I videotaped a number of performances by Radość-Joy (Toronto), Polonez (Hamilton), Syrena/Syrenka (Minneapolis/Milwaukee and Lajkonik from Chicago. All performances were stellar. It's unfortunate I was not able to tape everything, but then again I shouldn't because you need to attend these of folk festivals to see it all for yourselves. By the way, I am only able to tape bits and pieces. There is so much to see I can't even come close to covering it all.
Before leaving for my hotel, I got high. What I mean is I took a ride on one of those sky-rides to videotape the entire fairgrounds from above. Why invest in a drone when you can have the thrill of risking your life for just $5.00? So much easier!
In the wings
EVENING UPDATE My body's batteries were drained by 7:30, so I am back in my hotel room posting the last few photos and getting ready for an early departure. There is a beautiful Polish church not far from here, so I'd like to attend Mass there before heading north to the Upper Michigan Peninsula. I have no idea how long of a drive it is. By the way, despite having updated my GPS before leaving, it hasn't worked since Ohio. I have maps, so I will be fine.
I would like to thank JG for inviting me to room with him during the festival. I also leave Milwaukee and Chicago with a very favorable impression of the people. Everyone was very friendly. Take for example the lady at the hotel who recognized I was an out-of-towner on my way to the festival site and suggested I follow her to make sure I would not get lost.
Polanki was founded in 1953 and has been dedicated to promoting knowledge and appreciation of Polish culture among Milwaukee Poles and non-Poles alike.
Throughout the year Polanki invites speakers on Polish culture to its meetings and promotes public lectures and exhibits in the Milwaukee area. Portrait of a Living Marsh, an extensive traveling collection of paintings and sculptures by internationally recognized artists depicting a pristine marsh in eastern Poland, a performance by the Bialystok
Philharmonic Orchestra at the Performing Arts Center and a concert by Cantores Minores, a boys choir from Warsaw, are but a few of the events supported by Polanki.
Polanki contributes funds for local libraries. Members actively promote Polish culture by giving talks and demonstrations in schools and to various community organizations. For over 35 years the club has prepared the Polish cultural booth at the annual Holiday Folk Fair sponsored by the International Institute of Wisconsin and has been responsibly for the design and construction of the cultural exhibit for Polish Fest.
Polanki also strives to gain recognition for the efforts of early Polish settlers. Generous donations from the club helped reconstruct the Kruza house, a Polish homestead, on the grounds of Old World Wisconsin, an outdoor ethnic museum in Eagle, Wisconsin and helped with the renovation of St. Josaphat's Basilica located here in Milwaukee. St. Josaphat's was the first Polish basilica built in North America. In 1999, Polanki pledged a substantial amount toward the building of the Polish Center of Wisconsin in Franklin, Wisconsin.
Polanki's membership has been growing over the years and the organization looks forward to a bright future as interest in Poland and awareness of its rich cultural tradition increases among Milwaukeeans of all ethnic backgrounds.