Pulaski parade draws the Pols, but Polish pride is the star
Buffalo News 7/17/2006
Darlene Michalski got only three hours of sleep after a 16-hour work shift so she could get front-row seats. She and her husband, Edward, of Sloan, have attended the Pulaski Day Parade for 16 years, and they weren't going to miss it now. "He gave me breakfast in bed just to make sure we got here on time," Darlene said. More than 60 organizations participated in Sunday's Pulaski Day Parade, a showcase of Polish pride on Harlem Road , between the ThruwayPlaza and TownPark, in Cheektowaga. Young dancers in traditional garb, marching bands, heritage organizations and churches were among those waving to the lawn chair-toting public who came out to celebrate their Polish culture. The parade was also a mecca of potential voters. Republican gubernatorial candidate John Faso worked the crowds, and Rep. Brian Higgins, D-Buffalo, had a float in the parade. But for many of the children in attendance, the Pulaski Day Parade was an afternoon sugar rush. Jonathan Reimer, 8, and his brother Jacob, 5, of Cheektowaga, along with their cousin, 2-year-old Matthew LiVigni, visiting from WestchesterCounty, happily scooped up handfuls of Tootsie Rolls and suckers tossed their way. "We want to share our heritage with our children and listen to polka, polka, polka - and the children like the candy," said Jonathan and Jacob's mother, Suzanne. Suzanne Reimer and her sister, Liane LiVigni, attended the parade when they were younger and said they were pleased they could relive their memories with their children. "This would've just been a parade, but to watch his reactions, it makes it special," said Liane, eyeing her son applaud a line of fire trucks from Walden Fire District No. 2. Four miniature fire trucks, along with four miniature 1932 Ford Model B roadsters, were also part of the parade. Each was driven by a member of the Ismailia Shrine of Buffalo to "put the smiles on the kids' faces. That's what we live for, to make the kids happy and healthy," said Larry Hawley, who heads the organization. And what parade is complete without Santa Claus? The North Pole icon made an early appearance on the Polish Union of America's double-decker bus. Others on the bus were decked out in Santa hats for the Christmas in July theme, but Daniel Pulinski was the lucky one in head-to-toe red and white. But Pulinski's rosy cheeks certainly weren't from the gusty wind that made the steamy heat just bearable. "He's red because he's hot," said Polish Union of America president James Jozwiak.
Polka floats highlighted the 2006 Parade.
Lynn and Greg take the "easy" way down Harlen Road riding the Buffalo Concertina All-Stars float
Thousands of parade goers competed for shade as the temps reached into the 90s.
Float from St. Adalbert Church
Only at the Pulaski Day Parade.... butcher shop vehicle with special guest, Polka DJ Ronny Dombrowski!