If you listen closely, you can hear it.
The throng of the crowd. The faint polka beat. The smacking of lips. The chugging of beer. The chatter of TV reporters.
Yes, IT is almost here. …
Say it loud, say it Polish and proud. Paczki Day is just a little over a week away, arriving here on Tuesday (of course) March 8. That’s a week from this coming Tuesday.
But before that magic day, when Hamtramck becomes media central and thousands and thousands of visitors descend on this town seeking to buy thousands upon thousands of paczkis, the city will hold two special events.
This year for the first time, a “Paczki Bake-Off” will be held next Thursday (March 3) in City Hall at 10 a.m. Next Thursday is, technically, the official Paczki Day in Poland, where this crazy American version originated.
In honor of those roots, paczki baking lovers are invited to square off with other paczki-baking lovers to compete for best paczki. You must first submit an application, which is available at local bakeries, The Review office or it can be downloaded at www.hamtownfest.com, or requested by calling Joan Bittner at (313) 874-2242.
Applications must be submitted by March 1. On contest day, bring six of your best paczki at 9:30 a.m. to City Hall. Judging begins at 10 a.m.
That event is just a warm-up to the warm-up, so to speak, of the big day. The following Saturday (March 5) is the annual “Countdown to Paczki Day Celebration.”
The fun starts at 11 a.m. and goes on to 3 p.m. under a heated tent in the parking lot of the Hamtramck Town Center shopping strip, located on Jos. Campau at Holbrook.
Under the tent, Polish folk dancers will perform, and you’ll be able to get a free sampling of local paczkis. Polka tunesters, The Misty Blues, will also perform.
If you’re lucky, you’ll get to see our very own mayor, Karen Majewski, perform one or more of her incredible folk dances. It’s a sight to behold.
After the event, be sure to have a designated driver on hand and hit the local bars for more fun.
If you still have some energy left over, come back on Tuesday (March 8) for the actual Paczki Day. Oh man, better start resting up now because we have some serious partying to do in the days ahead.