Monday, June 21, 2010

Wawel at Polish Fest 2010 - Milwaukee, WI

The group knows when it is. They’ve already cleared their calendars. The third weekend in June, 2011 is booked. That weekend’s Polish Fest. Polish Fest 2011 is booked, and it’s less than a week since they returned home from Polish Fest 2010. It’s a cherished tradition.

Since 1998, members of the Wawel Folk Ensemble have made the trek to Milwaukee, Wisconsin to participate in Polish Fest, the largest Polish Festival in the United States. Held at the Henry W. Maier Festival Grounds in Downtown Milwaukee, Polish Fest features the best polka bands playing today, scores of vendors, authentic ethnic food and performances by Polish folk ensembles from throughout the Midwest.

On June 19, 2010, Wawel took to the Polish Fest cultural stage with the Syrena Folk Ensemble from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. During the performance with Syrena, Wawel present its Rzeszów, Podlasie, and Sieradz suites. Later that evening, Wawel again took to the stage as part of the Polish Folk Dance Association of the Americas (PFDAA) gala performance at Polish Fest. The gala performance included performances from 4 other PFDAA member groups. At the gala performance, Wawel presented its Sieradz and Podlasie suites.

The Polish Fest performances marked the debut of several new members of the ensemble who blended seamlessly with the veteran members as the group delivered lively performances to the Polish Fest crowds.

After the Saturday performances, Wawel members spent the rest of the day at Polish fest picking up souvenirs, catching up with friends from other folk dance ensembles and listening to top notch folk bands.

As is the tradition, the group returned to Polish Fest on Sunday, June 20, 2010, again in their folk dress to participate in the Polish Fest mass. This year’s mass was presided over by Bishop Jerome Listecki, Archbishop of Milwaukee. After mass there was enough time to pick up any last minute souvenirs and grab a bite to eat before embarking on the long trip home.

A busy summer is still ahead for members of the Ensemble. One June 28 the ensemble will fly off to Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada to attend the PFDAA Festival. The week-long event will feature workshops from choreographers from Poland teaching various folk dances to the participants, and a gala concert presented by the participating ensembles.

Wawel’s next US performance is July 9, at the American Polish Century Club’s Polish Festival held in Sterling Heights, Michigan. On July 16, 2010, the Ensemble will host a bowling fundraiser at Regal Lanes located in Sterling Heights, Michigan. For additional information about the Wawel Folk Ensemble, please visit

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