“This annual fundraising event is one of the most popular ethnic festivals in the Pacific Beach area, attracting people from all around San Diego as well as international visitors who want to get a taste of what Poland is all about,” said St. Maximilian Kolbe spokeswoman Agnieszka Giacalone.
The colorful Polish Festival is a tribute to Polish heritage, culture and cuisine. St. Maximilian was built in 1995 in Pacific Beach to serve the Polish community, a large number of whom who emigrated from their native land during the Solidarity labor-union movement of the 1990s.
The church is named for St. Maximilian Kolbe, a Franciscan friar and World War II-era hero who voluntarily sacrificed himself in the place of a stranger at the infamous Auschwitz concentration camp.
Kolbe provided shelter to refugees from Greater Poland, including 2,000 Jews, whom he hid from Nazi persecution in his friary until he was arrested by the German Gestapo and imprisoned. While imprisoned, Kolbe volunteered to take the place of a man condemned to be starved to death. In his cell, Kolbe led men in songs and prayer. After three weeks of dehydration and starvation, only he and three others were still alive. He was murdered with an injection of carbolic acid.
Polish Festival is a tribute to Polish heritage, Poles' pride as American citizens and San Diegans, and an expression of the legendary Polish hospitality.
During the festival there will be performances by Polish folk dancers, and various musical bands plus delicious polish food, and the best genuine imported polish beer. Adults over 21 years of age will have an opportunity to try Polish beer at the festival by well-known brands such as Okocim, Warka and Zywiec.
A wide variety of commemorative T-shirts, hats, and other apparel will be available for purchase during the event.
Event admission is $5. Those under age 16 admitted free.
For more information visit www.polishmission.org/festival/index.php.