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Garfield Celebrates Polish Pride With Pulaski Day Parade

Stanistaw Nestoronicz plays the accordion before the start of the annual Pulaski Day Parade in Garfield Sunday morning, Oct. 4.
Stanistaw Nestoronicz plays the accordion before the start of the annual Pulaski Day Parade in Garfield Sunday morning, Oct. 4. Photo Credit: Josh Jongsma
 Miss Polonia Stephanie Di Leo rides down Ray Street at the annual Pulaski Day Parade in Garfield Sunday morning, Oct. 4.
Miss Polonia Stephanie Di Leo rides down Ray Street at the annual Pulaski Day Parade in Garfield Sunday morning, Oct. 4. Photo Credit: Josh Jongsma
The Garfield High School band practices prior to the start of the annual Pulaski Day Parade in Garfield Sunday morning, Oct. 4.
The Garfield High School band practices prior to the start of the annual Pulaski Day Parade in Garfield Sunday morning, Oct. 4. Photo Credit: Josh Jongsma
The band and flag twirlers march to the beat at the annual Pulaski Day Parade in Garfield Sunday morning, Oct. 4.
The band and flag twirlers march to the beat at the annual Pulaski Day Parade in Garfield Sunday morning, Oct. 4. Photo Credit: Josh Jongsma
Members of the Garfield High School Polish Club line up to watch the annual Pulaski Day Parade in Garfield Sunday morning, Oct. 4.
Members of the Garfield High School Polish Club line up to watch the annual Pulaski Day Parade in Garfield Sunday morning, Oct. 4. Photo Credit: Josh Jongsma

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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