Friday, August 01, 2008


Festival to Feature Special Mass, Polish Food, Music

Buffalo, New York – The 29th annual Dozynki Harvest Festival at Corpus Christi Church in Buffalo will take place on August 23 and 24. This joyful celebration, which dates to the middle ages, is the Polish equivalent of America’s Thanksgiving holiday. In Poland, this event marks the end of the wheat harvest. At Corpus Christi, Dozynki is an opportunity to give thanks for all manner of blessings.

The heart of the Polish Harvest Festival is to bring people together in a spirit of gratitude and appreciation to God for all we have been given. The uniqueness of this celebration is expressed during the offertory procession during Sunday's Dozynki Mass when a specially baked bread is presented along with a wreath made of grains and wildflowers along with other fruits of the land. Special liturgical music for the occasion will be performed by Fr. Anzelm Chalupka, organist Bruce Woody and the Corpus Christi Choir.

This year’s Dozynki Festival will offer a chance to enjoy homemade Polish food and drink, polka, classical and pop music, an opportunity to purchase handmade religious and folk items, participate in historic church tours, and take part in many other activities. The Dozynki Mass of Thanksgiving will be offered on Sunday, August 24 at 11:30a.m. The festival opens on Saturday, August 23 at 11:30 a.m. with a Farmers' Market and a Flea Market. Pork and beef rollup dinners will be available on Saturday from 2:00-7:00p.m. A “Best Homemade Pierogi Contest” will take place at 5:30p.m. The sounds of “Al Kania’s Polka Band” will fill the air on Saturday afternoon, while “Those Idiots” will entertain the crowd on Saturday evening under the big tent.

On Sunday afternoon, the big tent will feature music by Joe Macielag's Pic-A-Polka Band and a performance by the Krakowiacy Dancers of Eugenia's Dance Studio. Chicken dinners will be available on Sunday from 12:30-6:00p.m. At 4:30p.m. pianist Ivan Docenko will perform Chopin and Paderewski in the church, followed by “Diva by Diva” star Mary Kate O'Connell singing sacred and secular songs. Buffalo’s Biggest Polish Sing-Along and Jam will begin at 6:30p.m. All are invited to bring their voices and instruments to join in. Song sheets will be available.

This year a raffle will be held for two round-trip airfares to Poland, courtesy of the owners of JABCO General Store at the Broadway Market. Theme baskets and chances to win other prizes will also be available. Admission is free and all proceeds support the church’s historic restoration. Raffle tickets are available at JABCO and through the church at 716/896-1050 or Vicki at 716/812-2524.

Corpus Christi Church was recently designated a New York State Landmark and has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Phase I of the church’s restoration will begin shortly with repair of the magnificent Rose Window above the choir loft. Fundraising is currently underway to match a grant in the amount of $450,000 from the New York State Environmental Protection Fund for restoration of the church roof and bell/clock tower.

Corpus Christi Church is located at 199 Clark St. in Buffalo, one block east of the Broadway Market.

For more information about the Dozynki Festival and other events at Corpus Christi Church, visit

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