Polski Day volunteers make lots and lots of Polish food for Saturday
If you’ve never stood in line — sometimes for as long as an hour — to get a plate of traditional Polish favorites at All Saints Parish (the original St. Joseph’s, the Polish-Catholic church at the corner of Eighth Street and Vermont in Kansas City, Kansas), you’ve missed out on a true taste of this city’s culinary history.
The 31st annual Polski Day is Saturday, May 2. Food service at the church and the parade, which kicks off at 14th Street and Central, both start at 11 a.m. It’s a true feast day in every sense of the word. To prepare for the dinner component of the festival, the women of All Saints Parish begin cooking weeks in advance, including 2,700 gołąbki, the beef-stuffed cabbage rolls, 3,000 pierogi and more than 3,000 Polish-style cookies.
Food prices range from $6 for Polish sausage sandwiches to $15 for the complete dinner. And varying in price are numerous a la carte items and desserts.
“When we started the festival in the 1980s,” Cathy Kolenda-Smith says, “it was mostly the Polish community who came, and most of the neighborhood was still speaking Polish. Now everyone comes to the festival: Irish, Italian, Hispanic. It’s a tribute to the historically Polish community, but everyone is welcome.”