The scent of Polish delicacies wafted down West Street over the weekend, emanating from behind St. Stanislaus Church.
The parish’s annual Dozynki Festival took place Saturday and Sunday in celebration of the fall harvest.
Visitors congregated around a large food tent, where volunteers stood frying potato pancakes and grilling kielbasa.
“It’s going slow and steady,” Polish Food Chairwoman Irene Grabowy said mid-afternoon Sunday. “I was expecting a lot more people but I blame covid. We’re still doing well.”
The church’s largest yearly fundraiser, Dozynki drew back return visitors and newcomers who saw the lawn signs around Bristol over the past few weeks.
Proceeds will go to benefit large purchases at St. Stanislaus, like the elevators that were installed inside the church a few years back.
Volunteers worked hard preparing for the festival, which also featured live Polka music, activities for children and a market of imported goods from Poland.
But it’s the food that receives the most attention, especially the chruściki, a fried Polish pastry also known as “angel wings” and traditionally served for holidays and special occasions.
“The angel wings go really fast,” Grabowy pointed out.
Parish volunteers typically run out of food but they didn’t this year. Grabowy told people she knew to stop by the church Sunday evening if they wanted to purchase some leftovers to help the parish.
“We come every year,” Maria Carrano said as her husband Matt and their nephew played a giant version of the table game Jenga.
“We’re part of the parish so we’re here to support our church,” Matt said.
Bridgette Wiosna-Fischer brought along her whole family for a day of fun and good food.
“I’m Polish and I love the food here,” she said. “We’ve been coming for as long as I can remember.”
Erica Drzewiecki can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.