After a tiresome and too-long winter, one sure sign of spring is Dunkirk's Dyngus Day celebration, which occurs the day after Easter.
In the morning, Bruce Tarnowski, keeping with the tradition established by his dad Chet, made the rounds of local businesses with pussy willow branches and a spirit of fun. This year, he brought four female members of his family with him to the OBSERVER. Each wore a red T-shirt with writing that left no doubt about the family's Polish heritage.
In the afternoon, Bruce made an appearance at the Dunkirk Senior Center for their celebration. The Kokomo band was there to provide music for the fun-loving group of seniors.
Bruce Tarnowski and a Dyngus Day contingent of his relatives visited the OBSERVER Monday. The group was making the rounds and ended their day at the Kosciuszko Club for its celebration Monday evening. Left to right: Jennifer Normand, Tayler Tarnowski, Bruce Tarnowski, Kyleigh Tarnowski and Lindsey Folland.
A family enjoys the Dyngus Day tradition at the Kosciuszko Club. Left to right: Josh, Jaelyn and Paula Wills. Josh, 13, may be competition for Bruce Tarnowski someday. He was not at all embarrassed to sport a clown’s wig.
Maggie and Valerie Mikula of Fredonia, the Polish Princess and the Polka Tot enjoy the Polka music at the Dyngus Day celebration at the Kosciuszko Club.
As Sandra Tapasto (Maslach from home) said, "The band usually plays Caribbean music, but they rolled out the polkas."
Later that afternoon, the Tarnowskis as well as other fun-loving people were at the Kosciuszko Club (Doghouse) eating Polish specialties, drinking piwo (beer) and dancing to, singing along with, or clapping to the polka music from the Bob Uleck polka band.
Often called "happy music for happy people," the bouncy music always appeals to the children. Several were happily jumping up and down on the dance floor.
Many people wore T shirts with sayings referring to their heritage. One little girl was a "Polish Princess," while another was a "Polka Tot." The adults had a variety of shirts, "It's not a party until they bring the kielbasa," "You bet your dupa I'm Polish" and "I stole the kizka" were just three examples.
Some shirts proclaimed "Everyone is Polish on Dyngus Day." That was true. A number of other ancestories were represented. Food and fun is a sure recipe for a good time for anyone.