Polish and Irish traditions and culture will merge in Gorey this weekend as the PolskaÉire Gorey Festival kicks off for another year.
ow in its sixth year, the event aims to celebrate Irish and Poles living together by bringing together and blending a host of music, art, culture, food and more from both countries. The 2022 Festival will be officially launched on Thursday, June 9 at 6 p.m. with the unveiling of Polish photographer Ryszard Tatomir’s exhibition at Gorey Library. Entitled ‘The amazing world of salt – Wieliczka Salt Mine‘, the exhibition features images of the UNESCO World Heritage Site’s underground landscapes, which are inaccessible to visitors on a regular basis. Rystard will be in Gorey to launch the exhibition and speak about his work, while the Polish Ambassador will also be in attendance for the occasion.
A medley of music will kick the festivities off for the weekend as an Irish-Polish Folk Night takes over Breen’s Bar. The Irish-Polish Folk Night is a tuneful return to the musical roots of each country and an opportunity to strengthen Irish-Polish ties through traditional and folk music. Representing Poland will be the The Kierpecki Band from the Beskid Region in the south of Poland. Their music reflects the folk tunes of Żywiec and Podhale regions and portrays musical heritage from other parts of Poland. Representing Ireland will be The Púcas, who will be belting out some of the greatest Irish music from bands such as The Dubliners, The Fury’s and Stockton’s Wing. Doors will open at 7.30 p.m., with music kicking off at 8 p.m.
“We did the Irish-Polish folk night before the pandemic and it was a great success. People were up dancing all night and didn’t want the night to be over,” said Public Relations Officer for the festival, Ola Riquet. “There will be some folk tales and legends being told throughout the night too.”
While the music night is for adults only, Saturday’s events are suitable for the little ones too. Taking place at Gorey Civic Square from 2 p.m., the ‘PolskaÉire Festival for Kids’ event promises be a family-friendly fun-filled day. There will be plenty of entertainment for all ages including fun science demonstrations, a puppet show, magicians, giant garden and carnival games, face painting, arts and crafts, salsa twist and more.
“As far as we are aware and according to the Embassy, Gorey is the only place continuing the festival this year,” said Ola. “I think it shows how much people like it. We are very excited to continue the tradition because we really believe in Polish Irish collaboration.”
All of the PolskaÉire events are free to attend.