Bremond Texas celebrated their 25th annual Polski Dzien or Polish Day on Saturday, June 23, 2012 with record breaking crowds. I arrived in town early Friday afternoon and I could immediately feel the excitement and energy as the town was busy getting ready for the big day. There seemed to be a rebirth of the old Polski Dzien, perhaps it was the milestone of 25 years or the hundreds of Polish flags hanging all over town or the newly painted buildings downtown but something was different. There was no mistaking it that this year Bremond, a town that was known as the Polish Capital of Texas, was going to throw a Polish party like no other.
The main Polski Dzien celebration is held on Saturday, but there was plenty of activity in downtown Bremond on Friday evening including a free street dance with music by Jerry Haisler and the Melody 5 and a rock and roll beer and music night at the Texas Slav & German Warehouse. Musical entertainment was provided by TSG owner Denise Gouge and friends. The Dry Bean Saloon was also packed with revelers renewing old friendships.
The 25th annual Polski Dzien started early on Saturday morning with a record number of vendors setting up their booths on Main Street. The day officially started at 8:00 am with the Polish Pickle Run, a 5K run for adults and a 1K run for the kids. There are more and more runners each year for this popular event and this year was no exception with a record number of runners signed up. Each participant received a beautifully designed t-shirt with an 1896 photo of the V. T. Kotch Saloon, the current Bremond Press building that serves as the headquarters for the Pickle Run. Listed under the photo are a number of “Noted Bremond Social Institutions” which include The White Eagle, The Bloody Bucket, Wootan Wells Eagle, Joe R’s Place, Bill’s Place, Steve’s Place, Bruno’s Place, Bremond Tavern, Joe Kotch Grocery and Bill Wachel’s.
As they crossed the finish line, the runners were greeted with cold piwo, kielbasa, watermelon, assorted fruit and lots of other refreshments. After the race, a raffle drawing for a heifer calf and bales of hay was held and awards were handed out in front of the Bremond Press building. The awards consisted of cash, medals and jars of official Polish Pickle Run pickles.
A large, enthusiastic crowd gathered along Main Street about 10:30 am as the long parade started at St. Mary’s Church and slowly made its way downtown. There were Polish and Texas flags everywhere and lots of Polish themed floats and vehicles in this years parade along with horses, motorcycles, vintage cars, fire trucks, tractors and Polish music. Dr. Jim Mazurkiewicz rode on a trailer and played Polish music for the crowd on his concertina and Brian Marshall played his fiddle while seated on top of Johnny Patke’s wrecked demolition derby car.
Main street was lined with a record number of vendors and food booths. There was plenty of good Polish food this year as Texas Slav and German Warehouse, Bremond Video and Ice Cream Parlor, Groholski’s and others served pierogi, gołąbki, kielbasa and other delicious Polish foods. There was no shortage of piwo available to go with the food.
The air-conditioned Bremond Historical Museum building was a nice place to cool off while looking over the history of Bremond. A 42 domino tournament was held along with horseshoe, washers, three-on-three basketball and volleyball games and lots of other activities throughout the day. The kids had a special area with inflated bouncers, water slides and a train ride.
Entertainment was provided from noon until 3 pm under a large tent with tables and chairs so people could sit, eat and listen to the music. The music was provided by Dr. Jim Mazurkiewicz’s Polska Kapela. Jim talked about the history of Polish music in Texas and played old Polish tunes on his concertina along with Mark Hopcus, James Mazurkiewicz, Frank Motley, CJ Jozwiak, Leonard Kasowski, Jakub Marshall, Michal Marshall, Ronnie Dutka, Phillip Berger and Kyle Berger.
One of the most memorable events of the day started around 3 pm in the Texas Slav & German Warehouse building where Polish danceband fiddler Brian Marshall led an all-star cast of musicians in a 5 hour jam session of traditional Polish music along with some old country tunes and even a little rock and roll thrown in for good measure. Musicians included Brian Marshall, Chuck Bolin, Kevin Syzdek, Ronnie Dutka, Frank Motley, Sonny Janczak, Mark Hopcus, Jim and James Mazurkiewicz, Eddie Marshall, Jakub and Michal Marshall, Denise Gouge, Phillip and Kyle Berger and Leonard Kasowski. The warehouse was packed with people and there was non stop dancing throughout the evening.
A big thanks to the Bremond Chamber of Commerce and everyone who worked so hard to make the 25th Polski Dzien the best ever!!
Below are a few photos of the fun and there is a slideshow of many more Saturday photos on page 2. and a slideshow of Friday photos on page 3. There are a few music videos in the Polish Texans Video section or you can see more videos on our YouTube Channel.