Having spent several of my "wonder years " growing up in West Utica I was well aware of its Polish influences. I played Little League baseball in the PLAV (Polish Legion of American Veterans), lived two doors down from the Pulaski Meat Market , grocery shopped at Tolpa's Dairy and had a paper route rife with customers of Polish extraction. Polish food and culture were apparent everywhere. With Culture Fest-A Festival of Nations-right around the corner let's take a look at the area's Polish influences.

Still today Polish culture is a significant part of Utica and the surrounding area's ethnic fabric. Here are some examples.

--Utica's North-South Arterial is officially "The Casimir Pulaski Highway".

--Hapanowitz Brothers Meat Market in New York Mills and the aforementioned Pulaski Meat Market in West Utica still feature such Polish favorites as kielbasa, pierogi and golobki

--Polka bands, such as Tony's Polka Band are a regular feature at summer concert venues in village parks

--"Polanaise" with Julian Noga, America's longest running Polish language and music program is heard every Sunday morning on WIBX.

--The Polish Community Club in Utica is still active with numerous events and observations.

There is more to be learned about Polish culture and heritage through a wonderful book by Utica author Malio Cardarelli entitled "West Utica".

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