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St. Adalbert changes location, day for annual 'Dozynki'

St. Adalbert changes location, day for annual 'Dozynki'

Event set for St. Gabriel on Oct. 13
St. Adalbert changes location, day for annual 'Dozynki'
Barbara Nebb makes food in St. Adalbert's kitchen last October.
Photographer: Marc Schultz

ROTTERDAM -- The Church of St. Adalbert in Schenectady is moving both the location and the traditional date of its annual "Dozynki."

The Polish harvest festival will take place this year in the parish center of St. Gabriel the Archangel Church, 3040 Hamburg St., in Rotterdam.

Normally held on a Sunday, this year's "Dozynki" will take place from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 13.

George Sykala, one of the festival organizers, said St. Adalbert recently rented space in the church parish center on Lansing Street to another party. 

 "It's just easier for us to do it this way," Sykala said, adding that several advantages will come with the move.

One is parking. St. Adalbert, located on Lansing off Crane Street, has a small parking lot, so attendees of past festivals have had to hunt for parking on nearby streets.

"We have a lot of parking at St. Gabriel's," Sykala said. "And right next door is Abounding Grace Church. They're letting us use their parking lot, so we have tons of parking."

At St. Adalbert, the festival was held on three floors. At St. Gabriel, the party will be in the parish center and all attractions will be located on one floor.

Sykala expects a festival on one level will be easier to manage for many people. One floor will also be easier on the organizers.

"Last year, we had to bring all of the band stuff all the way up three floors because there's no elevator there," Sykala said.

Attractions include food, like pierogi, kielbasa, lazanki (noodles and sauerkraut), barszcz (beet soup), Polish pizza (topped with sauerkraut and kielbasa) and Polish pastries.

DJ Mike Wancewicz will play Polish music. Polish dancing and language lessons will be available. The St. Adalbert Dancers will perform, and a genealogy workshop has been planned.

"Everything we need is there," Sykala said. "What we didn't have, we brought over."

This will not be the first time the "Dozynki" has been held away from its home church.

For several years, the Lansing Street center was rented to the Schenectady City School District, which used it for classroom space. The festival was held outside the center during the summer in some years and was moved to the Polish Community Center in Albany other years.

The party is being held on Saturday this year, so it won't interfere with services at St. Gabriel.

"We couldn't do it there on a Sunday," Sykala said. "We looked at different locations, but this one, when we got there, it was like, 'Whoa, this is the one.'"

Sykala also said festival organizers have made new signs and will advertise to make sure people know about the location change.

While the setting will be different, the "Dozynki" will still follow St. Adalbert's tradition. A Polish opening-welcoming ceremony will be conducted at 11 a.m. by Rev. Carl Urban, the retired pastor.

Sykala said "Dozynki" may last through October -- people might be able to taste Polish flavor at the Church of St. Adalbert after the main party ends.

"Whatever we don't sell, we'll be selling at the church every weekend," Sykala said of prepared foods.

Contact Daily Gazette reporter Jeff Wilkin at 518-395-3124 or at wilkin@dailygazette.com.

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