BY SCOTT LEFFLER
BUFFALO -- By Monday, most Western New Yorkers will forget that a month ago they proclaimed to be Irish and suddenly remember that they had a great grandmother who went to Poland once -- and therefore, they must be Polish.
Yes, Dyngus Day is upon us and there's no shortage of opportunity to be Polish in Buffalo. There are at least two dozen Dyngus Day parties in and around Buffalo -- mostly in Historic Polonia -- and a shuttle bus taking patrons from one venue to the next. And on top of that, the Central Terminal is back in the game this year with its first indoor Dyngus Day Party in four years.
Dyngus Day Buffalo offers a Pussy Willow Pass for $10, which grants access to most of the 24 venues participating for just $2. Without the pass, most of those venues charge $10 to get in (while many have no cover). So if you plan to hop along the Dyngus trail, the pass is a must-have. Especially since it also allows you use of that aforementioned shuttle bus.
Participating venues include:
- Anchor Inn*
- Arty's Grill
- Babcias Elks Club
- Broadway Market
- Corpus Christi Church*
- Duke's Bohemian Grove Bar
- Food Truck Alley
- Gypsy Parlor
- Nowak's Tavern
- Polish Cadets*
- Polish Falcons*
- Polish Villa 2*
- Porky's Lounge
- Pott's Banquet Hall*
- Pussy Willow Park Party*
- Pvt. Leonard Post VFW*
- R&L Lounge
- R. Bar & Grill
- Ray's Lounge and Catering*
- St. Casimir's Social Center*
- St. Gabriel's Roman Catholic Church*
- St. Stan's Roman Catholic Church*
- The Cove*
- The Happy Swallow
* Discount with Pussy Willow Pass
The pass can be purchased at Anchor Inn, Broadway Market, Corpus Christi Church, The Cove, Hectors Hardware, Leonard Post VFW, Polish Cadets, Polish Falcons, Polish Villa 2, Potts Deli, Rays Catering, St. Gabriel's Church, St. Stan's Church and any Wegmans.
Eddy Dobosiewicz, president of Dyngus Day Buffalo, says the 11th Annual Dyngus Day Parade at 5 p.m. in Historic Polonia is a must-see, with over 130 floats and participants "all dressed up with Polish pride."
Dobosiewicz also said Brave Combo, the Texas-based polka/punk band headlining Pussy Willow Park at 8 p.m. should not be missed. They've appeared on numerous movies and TV shows -- including The Simpsons -- and were the band David Byrne choose to play his wedding reception.
"They're probably the best band of its kind in the nation -- in the world maybe," Dobosiewicz said.
Dygus Day Buffalo offers a full list of events with all the pertinent details here.
Then, of course, there's Central Terminal. For years, the center of Dyngus Day festivities in Buffalo, the terminal stopped hosting a party in 2013 and has decided to come back to the fray, so to speak.
Central Terminal’s Dyngus Day party runs from 5-11 p.m. with Polish food and drink and a musical performance by Those Idiots at 7 p.m. The Terminal party is not part of the Pussy Willow Pass, however, with stand-alone tickets running $15, which includes parking. Proceeds go to the non-profit Central Terminal Restoration Corporation.
Meanwhile, for those trapped in the Northtowns, a pair of neighborhood Lockport bars will once again offer Dyngus Day festivities. Josie's Place will feature a Polish buffet, plus your standard drinks and Karaoke from 5:30 - 9 p.m., while the Ski Lodge Bar & Grill offers an all-day affair with Polish food, drink and whatever the Polish word for shenanigans is. A live DJ will spin tunes starting at 3 p.m.