Our Lady of Czestochowa Catholic Church in Houston Texas began their annual Dozynki or Polish Harvest Festival on Saturday, September 18, 2010 with a grand opening showing of the American, Polish and Texas flags. It was a typical hot Texas day with a few rain showers now and then but that didn’t dampen the fun. The two day Dozynki festival is based on a tradition that dates back for many centuries in Poland and symbolizes the end of the harvest for the farmers. It is a time of happiness, good food, folk dancing and live music. It was evident that the large crowd had found plenty of happiness, great food and lots of dancing and music.
The entry to the festival was beautifully decorated and lined with booths selling Polish t-shirts, ornaments, amber jewelery and lots of other items. Bungee jumping and a large water slide were big hits with the kids and there were lots of covered tables for everyone to sit and enjoy the entertainment. A good selection of delicious traditional Polish food such as pierogi, bigos, kielbasa, golonka and golabki were served as well as good Texas barbecue and hot dogs. Cold soft drinks, piwo and wino were available to help cool off.
The central area at the festival was a large covered stage where the crowd was entertained by a variety of music, singing and folk dancing including teen dance groups, children from the Polish School, Halny, Zawadiaki and of course, Houston’s own Polish dance band leader Brian Marshall and friends. In the early afternoon, there was a very beautiful and moving Harvest Wreath and bread ceremony presided over by hosts Dr. Stanislaw and Barbara Burzynski who arrived by a horse driven carriage. Our Lady of Czestochowa pastor Fr. Leszek Wedziuk blessed the bread and it was then shared with the audience.
Sunday events started with a 10 am Mass that included a procession of the harvest wreath and bread and then there was a parade welcoming all guests. More singing, dancing and fun continued throughout the day.