Polishfest 2021

Celebrate Polishfest: Keeping Our Traditions Alive In A World Of Change beginning  Sunday, November 14th, through Sunday, November 21st!  Welcome to this family-oriented event featuring Pittsburgh's Polish - Witamy, Lithuanians - Sveiki, and Carpatho-Rusyns - Vitaj  Celebrate a variety of Polish, Lithuanian and Carpatho-Rusyn traditions, including folk music, folk dance, culinary demonstrations with recipes, historical, religious, and folk-art offerings. These presentations were created to remember something old, discover some ething new, keeping alive our traditions alive in an ever-changing world. 

Polishfest Media

Welcome to Polishfest 2021

00 Welcome to Polishfest 2021

Welcome - Witamy

01 Polishfest Welcome

Annette Yauger, University of Pittsburgh Polish Room Scholarship Awardee

Polish Paper Cutting - Wycinanki

02 Polish Paper Cutting

Maria and Stella Zarod, Polish folk artists, introduce you to the art of Wycinanki, Polish paper cutting.

Additional Materials

Polish Donuts - Paczki

03 Polish Donuts Paczicki

Maria Ejzak Zarod demonstrates the culinary art of pacziki, Polish drop Galician donuts, using the following recipe:

No Yeast Polish Galicia Drop Donut Recipe

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Gated orange or lemon rind (optional)
  • Vegetable oil (for frying)
  • Granulated or powdered sugar (for dusting)

Mix dry ingredients (flour, baking powder & sugar) together. Blend in wet ingredients  (milk & vanilla), stiring well.  Drop dough by spoonful into hot oil. Fry till browned turning donuts to brown on both sides. Drain oil from donuts and sprinkle with granulated or powdered sugar.

Additional Materials

Polish-American Easter Palm Weaving - Tkanie Palm Wielkanocnych


Margory Gowaty, local folk artist and Secretary of the Polish Room Committee, demonstrates the craft of tkanie palmy wielkanocnych, the weaving of Easter Palms.

Additional Materials

Polish Falcons of America - Polskie Sokoly

05 Polish Falcons

A greeting from Timothy Kuzma, President and CEO of Polskie Sokoly, the Polish Falcons of America.

Additional Materials

Polish Bow Ties - Chrusczki

06 Chrusczki Polish Bow Ties

Mrs. Betty Kolano, life-long member of the Polish Falcons of America, demonstrates how to make pastries called Chrusczki, also known as "bow ties" or "angel wings".

Additional Materials


Polish Honey Cakes - Pierniki


Lawrence Kozlowski, folk artist and Cultural Commissioner of the Polish Falcons of America, demonstrates the baking of piernink, traditional Polish honey cakes.

Additional Materials

Polish Names - Polskie Nazwy

09 Polish Last Names

James Clark discusses aspects of Polish names.

Additional Materials

Lajkonik Polish Folk Dance Ensemble


A performance by Lajkonik Polish Folk Dance Ensemble.

Performance Bookings & Membership
Contact Frank Pociask, 724-861-0759

Additional Materials

The Shrines of Pittsburgh at Christmas

11 The Shrines of Pittsburgh at Christmas

Koscioly Sanktuarium W Pittsburghu
Most Holy Name - St. Anthoiny Chapel - St. Nicholas
St. Patrick - St. Stanislaus - Immaculate Heart Of Mary

Additional Materials

For more information, events, holiday mass and sacramental schedules, please consult our shrine bulletin for complete information at https://www.parishesonline.com/find/shrines-of-pittsburgh.

Lithuanian Room Kugelis

12 Lithuanian Room Kugelis

Lithuanian Potato Pudding - “Kugelis”

  • 1/2 lb bacon
  • 6 eggs, beaten
  • 9 large white potatoes
  • 1 can evaporated milk
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • Pepper to taste
  • 1 medium onion, grated
  • Sour cream and/or applesauce
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350°F
  2. Open can of condensed milk, leaving the lid on and set in a pan of hot water off the stove to warm.  The water should be about halfway up the can. Leave for about 5 minutes.
  3. Cut bacon into small pieces and fry till almost crisp.
  4. Grate potatoes into a bowl, draining off all the liquid into a small bowl.
    • Aunt Judy's Tip: Leave the above liquid to sit, then drain off just the clear liquid .Save the thick liquid at the bottom. Return this thick liquid to the bowl of grated potatoes.
  5. Add the eggs to the grated potatoes, mixing well
  6. Add the evaporated milk, salt and pepper and the grated onions and mix well.
  7. Pour into a greased,  flat pan with sides. The height of potatoes in the pan should not be over 1-1/2 inches high.
  8. Bake in pre-heated oven for 1-1/2 hours. 
  9. Cut into squares to serve. We like it with sour cream , and or applesauce. It can be cut and fried with eggs and bacon/ham/sausage the next day!

Additional Materials

The Lithuanian Citizens Society of Western Pennsylvania

13 The Lithuanian Citizens Society of Western Pennsylvania

“Vakaru Pensilvanijos Lietuviu Pilieciu Draugija” - A photo essay of the Lithuanian-American Citizens’ Society of Western Pennsylvania. “Through These Many Years ... The Pittsburgh Lithuanian Story”

Additional Materials

Lithuanian Cultural School - Lietuvos Kulturos Mokykla

14 Lithuanian School

Educator and Historian Robert Medonis introduces the Lithuanian Cultural School.

Pittsburgh Lithuanian School
728 Shady Lane
Pittsburgh PA 15228

Additional Resources

Potato Pancakes - Rusyn Nalesniky

15 Rusyn Potato Pancakes

Maryann Sivak, president of the Carpatho-Rusyn Society of America demonstrates how to make nalesniky, Rusyn potato pancakes.


  • 3 medium-sized baking potatoes
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • ½ onion, finely chopped
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 3 tbsp four
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
  • ½ tsp white vinegar
  • Oil, for frying
  1. Peel potatoes and onion.  
  2. Using a star-shaped grater, grate potatoes and onion into a large bowl, taking turns and mixing grated mixture. Onion juice will keep potatoes from browning.
  3. Add flour, egg, and mix well.  
  4. Add 1 tsp of salt and some black pepper, batter should be still liquid enough so you can easily ladle it.
  5. Heat skillet with 1/4 inch of oil over medium/high heat and add ½ tsp vinegar.  When the oil is hot,  add 1 heaping Tbsp of the
  6. mixture and spread to form a pancake. Fry on one side until golden brown in color, then flip to other side and fry for the same amount of time. Repeat the same procedure for the rest of the batter.
  7. Season with salt while hot if desired, garnish with sour cream or apple sauce.

Additional Resources

Carpatho-Rusyn Easter Egg Decorating

16 CARPATHO-RUSYN Easter Egg Decorating

Carpatho-Rusyn folk artist Jurika Dancikova demonstrates the creation of traditional and contemporary decorated eggs for Easter.

Additional Materials

The Carpatho-Rusyn Cultural Center

17 The Carpatho-Rusyn Cultural Center

Maryann Sivak, president of the Carpatho-Rusyn Cultural Center of America presents a history of the Center.

Additional Materials


Polish Christmas Customs

18 Polish Christmas Customs

Dr. Neil Stahurski - accomplished church organist and noted Polish folklorist

Additional Materials

The Origin of Names

19 Origin of Names

Accomplished folklorist, artist, lecturer, genealogist, and Irish Nationality Room chairperson Jack Webber talks about the origin of names.

Additional Resources

Frania's Polka Celebration


Frania's Polish Polka Christmas Special
Kolendy - Carols - Traditions
Saturday, December 25th - 2 pm. to 4 pm.
WEDO 810 AM Radio

Frania Urbaniak Yakima - “Pearl Of Polonia” and program hostess

Additional Materials

Full program of the 2020 Polishfest video

A special note of appreciation, thanks and recognition to:

  • Frania Urbaniak Yakime, local polka radio hostess for 36 years on radio WEDO 810 AM - Western Pennsylvania. Join her every week!
  • The University of Pittsburgh Nationality Rooms & Intercultural Exchange Programs officers and membership for their valuable support of Polishfest

Support the Nationality Rooms

Help to keep the spirit of Polishfest alive!  Your generous donation can support programming and the upkeep of the rooms that embody the customs and traditions of Poland and Lithuania.

Polish Room General Fund

Lithuanian Room General Fund


Polishfest - Thank You From the Nationality Rooms & Intercultural Exchange Programs

21 Nationality Rooms Thank You

Polishfest Virtual Marketplace

Polishfest Marketplace

Please consider patronizing these stores and artisans who bring a special Polish, Lithuantian, or Carpathian flavor to their lovingly crafted wares.

Brother Tom’s Bakery, Restaurant & Deli

Offering a variety of breads, cookies, cakes, pastries, bread, assorted home made pierogies, and Br. Tom’s famous old world paska bread. Let us do your holiday baking!

Brother Tom’s Bakery, Restaurant & Deli
808 Main Street
Sharpsburg, Pa. 15215
Bakery Hours: 8AM - 4PM  Mon  -  Fri   /   Sat  &  Sun  Til  3 PM
Web Site: http://www.brothertomsbakery.com

S & D Deli, Restaurant & Gifts

Located in the Strip District, S & D offers a variety of Polish and European imported foods, meats, spices & and unique gift items. We ship nationwide!

2204 Penn Avenue (corner of Penn & 22nd St, two blocks from Penn Mac toward Lawrenceville)
Pittsburgh, Pa. 15222
Deli Hours: Monday 10:00 am.- 4:30 pm, Tuesday-Sunday 9:30 am - 4:30 pm
On Line Store: http://www.polishfoodandgifts.com/
Web Site: http://sdpolishdeli.com/sdpolishdeli/index.php?id=27

Vibo’s Bakery

Vibo’s family owned bakery in Brackenridge is known for a variety of “old world” breads (Italian long & round) rolls, dinner rolls, pepperoni bread, hot cross buns, raisin bread, pizzells,  fried dough and paczki.. Place your holiday orders early for pick-up!

881 Brackenridge Ave
Brackenridge, PA 15014
(724) 224-0250
Hours: 9 am. - 2 pm.
Web Site: https://www.facebook.com/Vibos-Bakery-109451749093748/
Email: Breadandchaiguy@gmail.com


Krakus Polish Deli & Bakery

Offering a variety of homemade Polish favorites including: pierogi, halusky, stuffed cabbage, soups, hunter’s stew, paczki, kolache, makowiec, sernik, babka & chrust. A wide variety of imported lunch meats and sausage are also available. Enjoy a wide variety of Polish gift items.

7050 Market Street
Boardman, Oh. 44512
Hours: Tuesday - Friday - 10 am. - 6 pm; Saturday - 10 am - 3 pm
Closed Sunday & Monday
Web-Site: http://www.krakuspolishdeli.com

Old World Folk Arts

Offers a variety of ethnic cook books highlighting, Polish, Slovak, Italian, Irish, Polish-Irish, Christmas & Easter recipes customs & traditions. Old country Christmas & Easter recipes, customs & traditions. Polish, Slovak, Italian books. Other books include Irish cook books, Irish-Polish cook books, pierogi cook book, christmas ornament book and the famous multi-ethnic, full-color Christmas cookies, cakes & pastries. A perfect way to shop for that perfect ethnic gift right from your home.

Web site: https://www.etsy.com/shop/OldWorldFolkArts

Polish Arts Center

We are the premier emporium for Polish imports including folk art, folk dolls, apparel, amber jewelry, Easter pisanki supplies, Christmas ornaments, Polish stoneware, amber jewelry, music CD's, cookbooks, calendars, Polish candies and foods, greeting cards, crystal and glassware and much, much more.  View Our On-line Catalog with world wide shipping.

9539 Joseph Campau
Hamtramck, MI 48212
Hours: Monday - Saturday - 9:30 am - 6:00 pm; Sunday - 11:00 am - 3:00 pm
Web Site: http://www.polartcenter.com

Crafty Surprise

One of a kind handcrafted textiles & hand-etched glassware. All are created with that specialized ethnic touch. Find a perfect gift for the special person in your life. Only one word to describe these handcrafted items ---- awesome! Looking for a special gift for the special person?  Crafty Surprise has the answer. A Polish design, emblem, pattern, initial or just something personalized? Crafty Surprise can handcraft it for you!  Etched drinking glasses, baking dishes, crystal ornaments, custom tea towels, aprons, bags christmas ornaments and decorations.

Contact: craftysurprise@gmail.com
Facebook: @nitzascraftysurprise

Amber Gems And More

Explore The collection of Baltic amber jewelry, Polish pottery, salt lamps and handcrafted ornamented glassware available in-line from Amber Gems & More. We offer a wide range of unique, one-of-a-kind items that you won't find anywhere else. A great online site to do your holiday shopping.

(866) 415-0908
Website: http://ambergemsandmore.com

Carpatho-Rusyn Society Of America

A national organization, the  Carpatho-Rusyn Society is to sustain, as worthy of preserving and perpetuation in their own right, the distinct culture, history, language, and heritage of the Carpatho-Rusyn people. We seek to nurture the expression of this knowledge and opportunity to learn, express, share, and enjoy the beauty and life affirming values of a living Rusyn heritage. Memberships available.

915 Dickson St.
Munhall, PA 15120-1929
Web-Site: http://www.c-rs.org

Carpatho-Rusyn Store

The Carpatho-Rusyn Society Heritage Store provides both on-line and off-line (mail order) purchases.  The Rusyn Store offers a variety of  DVDs ,  language, history and culture books, magnets, pins and gifts. New items continue to be added.

Bonnie Burke
1101 Tanner Crossing Lane
Indian Land, SC 29707

St. Anthony Chapel Gift Shop

The St. Anthony Chapel Gift Shop is open in conjunction with the daily hours of St. Anthony's Chapel.  Many items are unique to the shop, including the St. Anthony's Chapel Rosary.  Many other one-of-a-kind religious gifts can be found in the shop. Take some time to stop by and see us. We are open every day except Friday from Noon to 3:00 p.m.

Saint Anthony Chapel
1700 Harpster Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15212
(412) 999-4401
Website: https://pghshrines.org/chapel-gift-shop

Polish Falcons Of America - Fraternal Society

A national Polish founded fraternal organization. Upholding traditional Polish values by promoting financial security, active life-styles & social well-being. Many financial, social, cultural, athletic, sporting, scholarship  and educational opportunities are available to its membership.  For more information regarding the PFA , please contact John Denning at 800-535-2071 or by email at jdenning@polishfalcons.org.

PFA National Headquarters
1016 Greentree Rd.
Suite 201
Pittsburgh, PA 15220
Phone: 412-922-2244
Toll-Free: 800-535-2071
Web-Site: http://polishfalcons.org

Skanumelis LLC - Homemade Lithuanian Food

Selling a variety of Skanumelis products: sakotis, treecake, smoked meats, homemade cheese, kibinai, bacon buns, lasinieciai, bow tie cookies, puff cookies. Experience the tradition of Lithuanian artisanship.

To place an order please call: 386-235-2839
Email: skanumelisnj@yahoo.com

Lithuanian Tree Cake Club Bakery

Baking and selling traditional Lithuanian Tree Cakes. The  Lithuanian tree cake Sakotis (branched) or in Lithuanian community more popular as Raguolis (“spiked”) very popular desert that appears at most traditional Lithuanian weddings, birthday parties and/or other large parties.

To place your order just send  your name, full address, phone number and size to lithuanianclub@gmail.com and we will ship cake to you next day or as soon we bake it.
Website: http://lithuanianshop.com/treecake

Nationality Room Scholarship Programs

The Nationality Rooms and Intercultural Exchange Programs began in 1926. As committees completed their rooms, they turned their attention to creating study abroad scholarships. The Nationality Rooms have awarded scholarships for summer study abroad annually since 1948. The purpose of the awards is to enable University of Pittsburgh students to have an in-depth immersion in another culture for at least five weeks. It is important that applicants choose a program that will maximize their contact with the populace abroad and be accepted by the University for credit. It is the farsightedness and generosity of the Nationality Rooms committees and their friends which have raised more than $3.5 million to provide these important intercultural exchange opportunities.

Nationality Rooms Programs & Intercultural Exchange Programs
Cathedral of Learning
4200 Fifth Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15260
Website: https://www.nationalityrooms.pitt.edu

Nationality Rooms Gift Shop

The Nationality Rooms Gift Center carries items from the countries our rooms represent and also from other countries. Our inventory of items is constantly changing based on availability. We celebrate international holidays with seasonal merchandise. Our mission is to educate the public to the traditions and history of the cultures of these countries.

Nationality Room Gift and Tour Center
Cathedral of Learning
First Floor -  Fifth Avenue Entrance
4200 Fifth Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15260
Website: https://www.nationalityrooms.pitt.edu