If you took advantage of the weather and enjoyed First Night Youngstown, you got a little taste of how they celebrate Sylwester in Poland. Our local First Night event committee would love to have had the budget of some of the Polish cities.  This special night of concerts and fireworks is setting new levels of spending in one of Europe's only recession-free countries. According to Rzeczpospolita, the 14 biggest cities spent a combined 11 million zlotys ($3.7 million) for New Year's Eve parties, up from 9 million zlotys last year. The capital, Warsaw, spent 3.8 million zlotys ($1.3 million) by itself! A more accurate comparison for us, however, might be the southern industrial city of Katowice that invited second tier music stars and prepared smaller fireworks. Those festivities only topped out at New Year's Eve party for 600 thousand zlotys (less than $200,000).

Start the New Year right by meeting new friends
We are excited to welcome two new people to the PYTown Team who are bringing back a classic monthly event.  Justin & Aneta Homer opened The Casual Pint in the Shops at Boardman Park just last year. He (a Pol-Am native of Pittsburgh) and she (a veteran of Polish School in Cleveland's Slavic Village) selected the Mahoning Valley as a happy medium to be close to both families.  Lucky for you that they did! They are classic "Cultural Evangelists" like some others you know and are sharing their love for All things Polish via the Tap. There is regularly Polish beer on tap (a singular Valley experience) and an impressive selection of imported bottled beer for every taste.  Add a little butter and onions and it sounds like the perfect spot to go for  Polish Happy Hour! You remember how this works: Polish Happy Hour Youngstown brings together those who hold any interest in Poland or Polish culture to have fun and meet new friends. Everybody is welcome! Each event responds to our location by changing the selection and style of imported Polish beer, vodka (not at this spot), music and tasty Polish food. We even throw in a fun, seasonal activity to help you learn a little about Poland culture and traditions, too. ZAPRASZAMY! Thursday, January 17 from 5:30 PM – 9 PM.

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 through 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. In recent years 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 Tom Katrenich of Living Traditions Folk Ensemble. I hope you will choose to be part of the fun this year!  Space is limited! ZAPRASZAMY: Saturday, January 26, 2019 from 6 pm – 9 pm  Sign up here

Polish Mardi Gras makes a comeback!
You missed it and so did we! So we are bringing back our annual Ostatki: A Polish Carnival Celebration on Saturday, March 2, 2019 at 6:30 PM. Guests will enjoy guided tastings of imported Polish vodka and liquors complimented by an elegant buffet dinner. Our friends will be doing a shopping trip in Chicago and NYC on our behalf 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 other games. The evening will climax with the presentation of the celebratory pączki with a hidden surprise for one lucky winner. Tickets coming soon!

News from around Polonia   
Teaching English in Poland programs seeks Teachers, Counselors
The Kosciuszko Foundation invites American teachers of all subject areas and levels, American college/university students, and American high school students who are at least 18 years of age prior to the start of the camp, to apply for participation in their three or four-week educational and cultural exchange via the Teaching English in Poland Program (TEIP).  More than 110 staffers are needed to staff this ever-expanding program. Could you be one of them?  NOTE: PYTown offers financial scholarships for this type of study aboard. Learn more about the program here or by calling (212) 734-2130.

News from Poland by Ted Mirercki   
Polish Mayor's stabbing, death shocks Poland
Gdansk Mayor Pawel Adamowicz, 53, died on Monday after being stabbed at a public charity concert Sunday night. Leader of the northern port city since 1998, Adamowicz was a known supporter of gay rights and had campaigned for the rights of immigrants in a country whose governing party has leaned heavily on anti-immigrant rhetoric. The attack stunned a nation that is increasingly divided politically. Tens of thousands of Poles joined rallies all over the country on Monday evening to condemn violence and hate speech. Read about this and other stories in the most recent edition of Polish Media Watch.

RESOLVE to get more involved?
We have a load of things on our list of resolutions and we could use your help! Everything from one day with a truck around Polish Day to jumping on board with both feet and joining the PYTown Team would be welcomed. We are particularly looking for someone with teaching experience to help us with our education programs. Please contact us at info@polishyoungstown.org if you can help.

Calendar Highlights

Thursday, January 17 Polish Happy Hour...  Saturday, January 26 10:30 AM Polish Kids Club, Poland Library... Kulig @ Ma& Pa's ..... Saturday, Feb 2 10:30 AM Polish Kids Club, Poland Library...  Saturday, February 24 Kiedrowski Pączki Ball, Amherst (Carpool & reserving a table?)…Monday, February 4 Jagiellonian Prof at YSU... Saturday, March 2 Ostatki... March 5 Pączki, Polkas & Piwo... Tuesday, April 9 Eastern European Congress of Ohio banquet... May 3 YSU Study trip to Eastern Europe…And you know there will be more to come!

Do Zobaczenia!
Aundréa and Your PolishYoungstown Team



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