Polish Picnic 1

Visitors soaked in the sun and music from Fritz's Polka Band at the Polish Picnic on Sunday.

AUBURN — The line to get pierogies, kielbasa and other dishes at the Polish Picnic on Sunday extended from the food tents themselves, around St. Hyacinth Church and nearly to the sidewalk.

Kathy Clancy, of Auburn, sat with her baby granddaughter in a row of chairs inside the picnic area while her husband and mother-in-law stood in the food line. 

"We came out because my mother-in-law is of Polish descent and we wanted to come get food," Clancy said.

She said she used to go to the former school attached to the church, but Sunday was the first time in a while that she attended the picnic. 

Clancy was playing with her granddaughter among the rows of seats set up for the live musical act, Fritz's Polka Band, from Verona. They began their first set at noon, not long after the picnic began.

The SS. Mary & Martha Roman Catholic Parish held the annual Polish Picnic on Sunday in the parking lot at St. Hyacinth on Pulaski Street. Visitors came in droves for the staple Polish cuisine, live entertainment, as well as the basket and 50/50 raffles.

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Children in elaborate face paint could also be spotted in the crowds. Away from the busy parking lot, kids went to a tent on the grass for games, face paint, balloon art and stuffed animals from Teddy Mountain.

The picnic also offered summer festival classics like fried dough, hamburgers and hot dogs, as well as a cake booth.

Alice Abate has volunteered at the picnic for about six years, but this was her first year as chairperson. She was manning the Polish food tent with her second-in-command, Theresa Casper-Klock. 

The dinners consisted of kielbasa, pigs in a blanket, two pierogies, kapusta and a slice of bread. Getting everyone in line for their dinners in a timely manner was no small task, especially since Abate said she thinks more people came this year than in years past. 

"Everybody loves our food," she said before she had to duck back into the tent and get back to work. 

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Staff writer Mary Catalfamo can be reached at (315) 282-2244 or mary.catalfamo@lee.net. Find her on Twitter @mrycatalfamo.