The sweet smell of pierogies frying in butter, mingled with the spicy fragrance of sausages and the tangy aroma of sauerkraut brought back old memories for some and a new hunger for others who packed the Winona Polish Museum last Sunday. Ornately costumed dancers, enormous Polish sheepdogs, traditional musicians, craft vendors, food stands selling every apple product imaginable, and hundreds of people descended on the museum for its 28th annual Smaczne Jablka (smahtch-NEE jun-BUL-kah) Festival. Literally translated as "tasty apple," Smaczne Jablka is a traditional harvest festival in Poland. Winona Poles celebrated their history, and people of all backgrounds got a chance to explore the museum's impressive collections for free.
Winona International Dancers performed traditional Polish dances at the Polish Museum's 28th annual Smaczne Jablka ("Tasty Apple") Festival last Sunday.
While they waited in line for pierogies, young Winonans Avery Prodzinski and Amelia Nichols practiced counting in Polish and gushed about a month-long trip to Bytow, Poland, they went on as part of a museum exchange program. "I loved it," said Prodzinski, who was brightly decked out in traditional Polish garb for the event. "To actually live with a Bytow family and see their daily lives, that was really valuable."
Saint Teresa's graduate Sheila Daley has fried pierogies at the festival for years, and on Sunday she was selling them as fast as she could make them.
"It creates cultural awareness for the second, third, and fourth generations, people that are now starting to lose that heritage," Winonan Tim Breza said of the event. "That is one of the key things, is to have young people interested in their heritage before they are 50 or 60 years old, because, by then, they may not be able to ask their family about that history."