GARFIELD, N.J. — Before making its way through New York City, the 78th Annual Pulaski Day Parade brought plenty of Polish pride to the streets of Garfield Sunday morning.
The event transformed the area around St. Stanislaus Kostka R.C. Church on Ray Street to a sea of red and white.
Mini red and white Polish flags waved in the air as music played from accordions and speakers. Spectators painted red and white stripes on their face and children kicked a soccer ball around in the street.
The Garfield contingent hit the road following a 10:30 a.m. Mass at the church, celebrated in Polish. The marchers started at the church and made their way to Garfield City Hall before busloads of locals headed to Manhattan for the big parade.
The annual festivities honor Revolutionary War Hero Brigadier Gen. Casimir Pulaski, a Warsaw native who took up the American battle for freedom and was known as “The Father of The American Cavalry.”
Pulaski was mortally wounded in the Battle of Savannah and died on Oct. 15, 1779. The official General Pulaski Memorial Day, as decreed by U.S. Congress in 1929, is Oct. 11 of each year.
Some of the participants in the Garfield parade included Contingent Marshal Andrzej Pelczynski, Miss Polonia Stephanie Di Leo and Junior Miss Polonia Nicole Misterek and the Garfield High School Marching Band.
The Garfield High School Polish Club also attended before taking off for New York. Emilia Kardjian, one of the club advisors, said it's nice to have a local event to attend first.
"I think it's exciting for them," Kardjian said of her students. "I think it's more exciting to go to the city, walk in the main parade too."
Ewa Wos, a sophomore, said Sunday's parade was her third, and that it is always a fun time.
"We walk down Fifth Avenue and we all sing," Wos told Daily Voice, "because there's always a [music] club in front of us."
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