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50th annual Pulaski Days returning to Grand Rapids

From Oct. 1-9, special events will be held for the 50th Pulaski Days celebration, including a dance, musical performances and a parade.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — It's back! The annual Pulaski Days celebration will be returning to Grand Rapids for its 50th year of highlighting Polish culture and traditions.

Each year, Polish halls and clubs across Grand Rapids open their doors to celebrate Polish food and culture with West Michigan. This year's theme is "50 Years of Polish Traditions."

The celebration was started in 1972 in an attempt to support and highlight local Polish social clubs. The week-long event is the largest source of revenue for the participating halls.

Pulaski Days Chairwoman Michelle Kershner said the celebration is not just to recognize Polish heritage, but an important historical figure.

“Many people think ‘Pulaski’ is the Polish word for Poland or Polish people,” Kershner said. “Pulaski was actually a person, a general in the American Revolutionary War and he has been called the 'father of the American cavalry.' Pulaski Days is our way of celebrating Polish American heritage and General Casimir Pulaski.” 

Two West Michigan breweries have created special beers specifically for the Pulaski Days celebration. New Holland Brewing will be debuting "Casimir Reserve 50th Celebration," while City Built Brewery is unveiling "Pulaski Built Beer." 

Events in the festival include a dance on Oct. 1, a kielbasa eating contest on Oct. 5 and a parade on Oct. 8. A full schedule with events, performing artists and more will be posted this month on the Pulaski Days website.

14 clubs will be participating in this year's events:

  • American Legion Post 459 (658 Michigan Ave NE)
  • Knights of Columbus (1104 Muskegon NW)
  • Polish Falcons (957 W Fulton)
  • Polish National Aid Society – Jackson Street Hall (921 Jackson St NW)
  • Sacred Heart Benevolent Society Eastern Avenue Hall (506 Eastern Ave NE)
  • Sacred Heart Club – Kosciuszko Hall (935 Park St SW)
  • Saint Adalberts Aid Society – 5th Street Hall (701 5th Street NW)
  • Saint Casimir’s – 6th Street Hall (649 6th St NW)
  • Saint Isidores Aid Society – Diamond Hall, home of the Pulaski Days Monument and Pulaski Square (435 Diamond NE)
  • Saint Ladislaus Aid Society “Laddies Hall” (58 Lane Ave SW)
  • Saint Stanislaus – Little Hall (823 Michigan Ave NE)
  • Saints Peter & Paul Aid Society – Saint Georges (1513 Quarry NW)
  • Sons & Daughters Club (1057 Hamilton NW)
  • Vytautas Aid Society (1300 Hamilton Ave NW)

The Pulaski Days celebration has been held every year except 2020, which was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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