Two groups planning Polish fairs for same August weekend

Both the Polish Town Civic Association and the Riverhead Polish Hall Independent Club are moving forward with plans to host festivals in Polish Town on the weekend of Aug. 17 and 18. 

For the civic association, which began running annual Polish festivals in 1985, it’s an opportunity to bring back the popular event for the first time in three years. Organizers received approval from the town earlier in March.

For Polish Hall, it’s a chance to expand the event they have hosted for the last three years in the absence of the traditional Polish Fair. Polish Hall organizers received site plan approval for their event on Tuesday.

Both groups plan to meet with town officials April 26 to iron out event details. 

“The town is trying to get us together to meet at Town Hall so they can discuss everything,” said Tom Najdzion of Polish Hall. “It’s no problem. It’s looking good.” 

Kevin Davis, president of the civic association, agreed, saying, “It should work out fine.”

Mr. Davis’s late mother, Kay Davis, ran the fair for many years. She died last year at age 81. 

“It’s a huge undertaking,” Mr. Davis said. “It takes so many people to get this pulled off. I’m more and more proud of my mom every day because I didn’t realize what she went through to do this.”

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020, the Polish Town Civic Association suspended its fair and didn’t revive it until now. 

During those years, Polish Hall filled that gap, gradually increasing the size of its event each year. 

“We had 40 members [of PTCA] and we picked up 60 more,” he said. “And now we just keep getting more and more people — and they’re excited. They’re super excited.”

Mr. Davis said he has a lot of changes planned and his group plans to make the event more “Polish.” 

“We’ve got the Highlanders coming out here. We’ve got Polish cars and we’re going to have a Polish boxer who will be signing autographs,” he said. 

Mr. Najdzion said it won’t matter that two different organizations are running events on the same day.

“It’s going to feel like all one place,” he said.