Polish Mardi Gras gets a Valentine’s Spin!
When we host a party we like to make sure there is always something new and fun for you to look f
orward to enjoying!  This annual Mardi Gras celebration is our most popular “public” This year it falls on a very secular weekend so it has potential to be a HUGE draw. Hope you plan to join us for our 7th Annual Ostatki: A Polish Carnival {and Valentine’s Day} Celebration, on Saturday, February 14, 2015 at 6:30 PM at The Historic B&O Station in Downtown Youngstown, OH. Guests will enjoy guided tastings of imported Polish vodka, beers and liquors complimented by an elegant buffet dinner. Our friend Tim Stoll just did a shopping trip in Chicago on our behalf this week and picked up some new and exciting delights for tasting. Great music sets the tone for the evening as guests enjoy trivia meet-and-greets, bead contests, elegant basket raffles, photo booths and others games. The evening will climax with the presentation of the celebratory pączki with a hidden surprise for one lucky winner.
We even hold the region’s only Vodka Cocktail Contest bringing out the best in regional professional and amateur mixologists to be tasted by regional celebrity judges. We are expanding this portion of the festivities this year to hold the professional contest earlier in the week—allowing the select cocktail to be the Signature Drink for the event! We also are doing a round of People’s Choice as part of the amateur judging. So obviously there will be plenty to do for everybody that night!
Tickets are on sale

What’s your favorite vodka cocktail?
Applications are being accepted for our 6th Annual Vodka Cocktail Contest. Some of those who have signed up for the “difficult task” of judging include Mayor McNally, Downtown Events Coordinator Michael McGiffen, SMARTS Director Becky Keck and Youngstown Nation’s Phil Kidd.  So now they need YOU to jump in and start mixing or nominate your favorite bartender to make their most creative concoctions. All will be competing for some soon-to-be announced prizes-- Each drink will be tested for creativity, flavor, originality and Polish theme. Learn more about it here

Pre-order your pączki and save some dough
It’s that time of year! I know we all vowed to cut down on our calories and gluten intake, but you’ve got to make an exception for this annual pre-Lenten delight.  I know our house just reduced our order—we didn’t eliminate this indulgence! PYTown Team members are ready to take your orders now …proceeds benefit our children’s programming and fledgling scholarship fund! Preorders get the special price of $15/ dozen…if you wait until Fat Tuesday the price goes up substantially and we can’t guarantee what flavors will be available.  With the help of Kiedrowski’s Simply Delicious Bakery we are ready to satisfy even the most indulgent sweet tooth with all of your favorite flavors, including the nontraditional custard! Traditionally, Polish families made pączki and other treats on this day to use up all the sugar and fat in the house that were forbidden during lent. Download your order form here

Visiting Scholar Comes to teach at CSU
Cleveland State University is again hosting a visiting scholar from Poland. PYTown was honored to be asked to be part of Dr. Tomasz Markiewka’s hospitality committee for his visit. Markiewka will be teaching two classes this semester at CSU, History 393:  Turning Points in Polish History and English 352: Polish Literature and Poetry after 1918.  The focus of his research is writer Teodor Parnicki. Our professor friends at YSU are working with the Slavic Student Association to bring his to our campus for some talks as well! This is a wonderful opportunity to learn more about our Polish culture so I hope you will take advantage of the opportunity. More info to come.

Start planning to celebrate Fat Tuesday in a festive fashion
I can’t say enough about how excited we are about Pączki, Polkas and Piwo (translated as Donuts, Dancing and Draught) on Fat Tuesday morning February 17 from 7:30 AM – 8 PM at Kravitz Delicatessen on Belmont Avenue and in Poland Library. In large Polish community enclaves like in the Midwest—Chicago, Buffalo, Toledo, Cleveland, Detroit, Grand Rapids, Milwaukee and South Bend—Pączki Day is celebrated by Poles and locals alike with parties and lines starting with the rising of the sun. Of course, we are never ones to be outdone so we know you might enjoy this kind of party, too! To up the anty this year we are adding a live band!! We add to the mix the happy tunes of Larry & Diana Walk of Happy Polkaland and Jack’s great Polish food specials and to be washed down with some nice cold Zywiec. Hope you will join us! Learn more here

Embrace Winter by Celebrating Kulig!
In the Polish countryside, they don’t fight winter, they embrace it! Horse-drawn sleighs crisscross the snow-covered fields as neighbors host each other with a feast of food, music and drink. The merrymaking continues thru the night as each then joins in the cavalcade to the next estate where it starts over again. Learn more about it here. We at PYTown love this tradition and have worked to replicate it. Last year we discovered the folks at Ma and Pa's in Burton feel the same way we do. When the flakes start flying in the winter months Pa hitches up the horses again for a winter adventure horse drawn sleigh ride served with maple coffee and homemade bakery. When we come we add a little Polish food and beverage as well as the singing and dancing that happens when we are accompanied by Cathy & Tom Katrenich of Living Traditions. I hope you will choose to be part of the fun this year! EVENT: January 23, 2015 from 6 pm – 9 pm. Learn more here

Polish Happy Hour under Deep Freeze
This month’s chilly weather worked out well for us since it forced us to cancel our monthly gathering. You know our chairperson resigned as of December and no one has stepped up to help in his place. Could you be the person to fill those shoes? For more info, call 330-333-9724.

News from Polonia
Kosciuszko’s West Point Legacy is Above Reproach
You better get your facts right when referring when it comes to General Thaddeus Kosciuszko. Author Alex Storozynski may no longer be at the helm of the Kosciuszko  Foundation, but he is passion about the legacy of this historic patriot has not lessened. Case in point: Paul Ackermann, curator of the museum at the United States Military Academy, was quoted in the January 2015 issue of Hudson Valley Magazine claiming that when he was Chief Engineer Kosciuszko , the Polish leader wanted to desert his post at West Point and that he was "extremely overrated." This resulted in outrage and swift action from Storozynski who imformed Polonia leadership and addressed his concerns about the seeming change of attitude toward Kosciuszko with the USMA Superintendent General Robert Caslen. This week he received a concilatory reply. General Caslen said that Kosciuszko’s contribution to the Academy and history is extremely valued and that Ackermann does not speak for the Academy. Well done Alex! Sto Lat! Thanks for your continued Polonia leadership! Read both letters HERE and other happenings in the most recent edition of Polish Media Watch.

Calendar Highlights
January 23
, 2015 Kulig @ Ma& Pa’s... February 8 Kiedrowski Pączki Ball, Amherst (We are carpooling &  reserving a table so let us know if you want to join in!)... February 7 Pączki presale ends... February 8 Polska Kuchnia Pączki Making... February 10 7 PM Vodka Cocktail Contest PROFESSIONAL division... Saturday, Feb. 14 Love-themed Ostatki... February 17 Pączki, Polkas &Piwo... February 19 Polish Film Series: Feburary Krótki film o milosci (A Short Film About Love)... July 2015 Trip to Poland... Sunday, August 30 Polish Day 2015...

Do Zobaczenia!
Aundréa and Your PolishYoungstown Team



Video of the Month

Polish Media Watch

Polish Words of the Month
November Listopad
Autumn jesień
Pumpkin dynia
Leaves are falling puścić liście
Thanksgiving DzieńDziękczynienia
Thankful wdzięczny
I am thankful for Jestem wdzięczny za ....
Turkey indyk
Parade parada