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Portland Polish Festival

Start polishing your Polish - it's party time
by: COURTESY OF POLISH FESTIVAL, Dancers kick up their heels for the annual bash celebrating all things Polish.

My North Portland sources tell me that out of all the ethnic festivals and street fairs in Portland, the Polish festival is the One.

More than 12,000 people attended last year's event, which recognizes and celebrates the city's prominent Polish population, largely based in North Portland's Overlook District.

An exhibit of Madonnas and other religious icons from Poland offers reminders of the first families who immigrated here in the 1800s, and who built Polish-style churches and public buildings.

Colorfully costumed Central European folk dancers entice crowds to the main stage's continuous entertainment, which includes traditional Estonian and Hungarian dance troupes and polka contests.

Chefs work diligently to create classic entrees like kielbasa, 15,000 pierogi and fruit-filled Kraków pastries. Wash down the rich food with 6,000 bottles of imported Polish beers and wines.

Best of all, there will be, literally, dancing in the streets (some of which will be closed to traffic).

- Brooke Myers

11 a.m. to 10 p.m. SATURDAY, noon to 7 p.m. SUNDAY, Sept. 23-24, 3900 N. Interstate Ave., 503-750-2772, www.portlandpolonia.org, free, free parking at adjacent Kaiser Permanente complex