Hamtramck Labor Day Festival will indeed make another return

You’ll be able to get your polka on again this year at the Hamtramck Labor Day Festival, which runs Aug. 31-Sept. 2.



By Charles Sercombe


          Yes, that is, there will be a Hamtramck Labor Day Festival this year, just in case you were wondering.  

          And it appears a lot of people have been asking if there is going to be a festival this year. Questions about the festival arose several weeks ago when word got out that the city administration was under a spending freeze.

          That meant organizers were going to be required to produce up-front money to cover overtime police costs and any other incidental costs to the city. The hold-up was figuring out what exactly were those costs.

          Festival co-organizer Konrad Maziarz told The Review a week ago that everything was covered, and the festival was moving forward.

          But then the next thing that cropped up was the question of who was going to cover the city’s costs for helping set up the Polish Day Parade, which is held on Labor Day during the festival.

          That’s been taken care of as well, with the parade committee providing street barricades to block off side streets, and the Hamtramck Police Reserves are apparently donating their services.

          This year the festival runs Aug. 31-Sept. 2, and as usual there will be plenty of food vendors, beer, and drinks.

          Oh yeah, lots of bands as well. Following a long-established tradition, Hamtramck’s favorite party band, Polish Muslims, will play their usual Sunday slot at about 7 p.m.

          The rowdy “canoe” races will also take place before the parade on Monday, at about noon, on Jos. Campau closer to Holbrook.

          The parade kicks off at 1:30 p.m.

          We recently asked the festival public relations contact, Ana Cukovic, for an update, and here’s what she had to say:

“I have received news on the bands that will be gracing our stages this year: Festival favorites will return this year including Kresge Fellow Mike Hurtt’s Haunted Hearts, hailing from New Orleans, and The Polish Muslims. As well as a solo performance by Joe Mazzola (of the Detroit Cobras and the Sugarcoats), and appearances by new groups to the festival like Radio Burns, a high school-aged ILL Itches, Jeecy and the Jungle and other promising young acts.

“We will also have craft beer from the following breweries: Motor City Brewing Works, Griffin Claw Brewing Company (GCBC), Saugatuck Brewing Company, Cheboygan Brewing Company

“Hatch is helping with the festival and they will have a tent for arts and exhibits.

 “Boat Races are on Labor Day around noon. If any bars want to participate and build a canoe, they can contact me and I will direct them to the appropriate person.

“We also still have available spaces for vendors and we also need volunteers.

“Please ‘like’ us on Facebook and check it out for any updates on the events, as we are still developing the program.

“We have Hamtramck Labor Day T-shirts available for $15 at the following bars: Polish Sea League, Whiskey in the Jar, Kelly’s, The New Dodge Lounge, Tight Fittin’ Jean’s Bar. More locations to be announced.”

Anyone who wants to volunteer or become a vendor, contact Cukovic via email at: cukovic.a@gmail.com.

6 Responses to Hamtramck Labor Day Festival will indeed make another return

  1. Joseph A. Wieczorek

    August 29, 2013 at 8:51 pm

    One lousy hour of Polish Music for a Polish Festival, shame on you!!! Why not call it the Arab Festival??? If you are ashamed of the Polish people in Hamtramck

  2. Doug Dorsey

    August 30, 2013 at 6:32 pm

    no firefighters either…….I won’t be going. Not the same without them.

  3. Lawrence Macks

    August 30, 2013 at 9:48 pm

    Hamtramck Labor Day Festival

  4. Karen Majewski

    September 1, 2013 at 1:46 pm

    Then, Doug, I hope you went to Kazik’s on Saturday night instead for the firefighters’ benefit. And James, this has the Hamtramck Labor Day Festival, not the Hamtramck Polish Festival. (I don’t see any Arabic bands on the program, by the way). As you know, this isn’t a city-sponsored event, but is entirely volunteer-run. So if you’d like to have a role in shaping the festival, the festival committee is always looking for volunteers. Thank goodness for those young people who have taken on this project and ensured that the festival continues and attracts new participants. I hear some complaints from us older folks about fewer Polish bands. But I also get just as many thumbs up from younger people who come to see the bands they like. Last night I was told that Arts, Beats, and Eats is too middle of the road music wise–in other words, Royal Oak is too square, and the Hamtramck Festival is cutting edge. Made me happy.

  5. Omar Almasmari

    September 6, 2015 at 12:46 am

    This is and has been a family tradition. I look forward to see all the hamtramckans there.

  6. Gerry Davis

    September 2, 2016 at 11:48 am

    to Karen Majewski (and all)

    With only one Polish band for the Festival, I too share the disappointment of many with the lack of Polish bands. There are so many talented performers who have played our Polish favorites for years.

    Karen (my queen), does this mean there could be another POLISH festival sometime during the year. It does not have to be for an extended weekend like Labor Day. Just a simple 6 band roster for Saturday and Sunday with a food court of several vendors

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