Pulaski Days rev up Grand Rapids’ Polish halls

The long-standing tradition returned this weekend in 14 Polish halls, with polka and rock bands fueling the stages and giving out lots of pierogi and beer to the night owls. Photo gallery.

Polish Power: The mood at Eastern Avenue Hall was good on Friday. (Photo / Anthony Norkus)

Scroll down for the photo gallery

“Keep calm and turn on polka.”

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Amid the hustle and bustle of the ArtPrize Awards and a host of other celebrations starting in October, a longstanding Grand Rapids tradition returned to 14 Polish halls across the city this week.

Celebrating Polish culture, food and music, and rock ‘n’ roll, Pulaski Days got a serious boost on Friday, themed “calm and polka” and attracted thousands of night owls, some of whom roamed from club to club to experience the vibrancy and libation of this historic event that dates back to 1973 in Grand Rapids.

Mixing up polkas: Trent Urbytes & Polka Selection in the Diamond Hall. (Photo / John Sinkevics)

Ok, we’re not sure how many people actually know that General Casimir Pulaski was a War of Independence hero and a Polish immigrant who sacrificed his life for the cause of freedom.

And most of them probably don’t know that the polka is actually a Czech dance that has its origins in Bohemia, now the Czech Republic, not Poland.

What we do know is that tons of Pierogi and Kielbasa – and lots of kegs of beer – hit the market in sturdy fashion from Diamond Hall (St. Isidore’s Benevolent Aid Society), Eastern Avenue Hall (Sacred Heart Society of St. Isidore’s Church) were brought. and Little Hall on the East Side to Polish Falcons, Kosciuszko Hall, Sixth Street Hall and many more on the West Side.

The entertainment ranged from the polka-drifted sorts of Trent Urbytes & Polka Selection at Diamond Hall to the rock of The hype and Project 90 in the Eastern Avenue Hall (the “Hall of the Year 2021”).

Browse the Local Spins Photo Gallery below and remember: There are two days of Polish celebrations left for Pulaski Days, with the Pulaski Days Parade starting Saturday at 11 a.m. on Michigan Street and College Avenue.

Check out the full schedule online here.

PHOTO GALLERY: Pulaski Days at Eastern Avenue Hall by Anthony Norkus
Diamond Hall by John Sinkevics

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