MILWAUKEE — This is the first time Polish Fest has happened at the Summerfest grounds in three years. The last two were canceled by the pandemic and things were still a little 'Iffy' in the summer of 2021. So, polish fest re-invented itself.
"We had to do something in 2021," said Jeff Kuderski, Executive Director of Polish Alliance of Wisconsin. "We generally do about 40-thousand people on the grounds and here at the center we did a smaller version which was is only 300 per day."
The event may have been smaller but it had all the essentials from the food they are famous for, pierogis, to polish dancers and even beer.
But getting back to the lakefront was the goal this year. They'll go from one band in 2021 to 13 this year and from one food vendor to seven. The yearly event is a huge money maker for the group, bringing in more than $50K.
But Kuderski tells us it's about much more than fundraising.
"It's also to showcase our polish heritage and have a living example of what polish culture on Milwaukee's lakefront."
Like many of the other festivals and employers in the area, POlish Fest is struggling to fill all the volunteer positions, but they are making it happen.