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Celebrate Poland marks 10 years

June 23, 2016
Special to the Town Crier , The Town Crier

Celebrate Poland is marking 10 years as the event that embraces Independence Day and celebrates the community of Poland.

The event starts 5:30 p.m. Friday with the annual Strawberry Festival at Poland Presbyterian Church, 2 Poland Manor, followed by the Firemen's Parade at 7 p.m.

This year, the parade will be led by assistant fire Chief Tony Sferra. The fireworks display, by Colonial Fireworks, goes off 10 p.m. Saturday. While the parade and fireworks and even the Strawberry Festival have long been a part of the Fourth of July in Poland, the organized community-wide festival is in its 10th year.

''We are so happy and proud that we have sustained this tradition for a decade,'' Celebrate Poland vice president Cindy Best said. ''The committee works very hard to make this an event a highlight of summer and one that everyone in Poland can enjoy.''

Celebrate Poland activities are many in this 10th year, including a major milestone for the village -- the dedication of an Ohio Historical Marker, noting the sesquicentennial of Poland Village will happen 11 a.m. Saturday at the gazebo near village hall.

Live music by Dominic Tocco and the Brotherhood as well as Cody Gibson will be featured Friday and Saturday nights. Food vendors will be parked behind village hall all weekend, and on Saturday, Chalk the Walks, the sidewalk art event, an arts and craft show, Touch A Truck, bounce-arounds, a putting green, a cornhole tournament and the Poland Idol contest will keep everyone entertained.

Walking tours and graveyard tours at Poland Presbyterian Church are offered through Friday. Across from village hall, the Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County will hold a book sale and activities for kids.

Howard Hanna will sponsor an apple pie baking contest at the canopy on the village green. Bakers should bring their entries there between 1 and 3 p.m. on Saturday.

And adding to the flurry of activity, the Poland Village Business Association planned several events throughout the weekend.

Once again, a shuttle service will be available to accommodate the crowds and make parking easier. On Saturday, between noon and 4 p.m., people can park at the Poland Methodist Church on state Route 224 and take a bus to and from the festivities.

Between 6:30 p.m. and 11:30 p.m., parking will be available at the church and Poland Seminary High School on Route 170 and Dobbins Road, with buses shuttling people to and from the festival. All busing and parking has been donated to Celebrate Poland and is free to the public.

The Celebrate Poland Committee has grown in numbers in recent years, thanks to volunteer help from local churches, primarily, New Life Assembly, Poland Village Baptist and Gospel Baptist churches.

It is still an all-volunteer event, with all costs covered by donations. This year, many supporters, including Home Savings Foundation, increased the amount of their gifts in honor of the 10th anniversary.

The extra funds will pay for extended live music by Dominic Tocco and the Brotherhood as well as Cody Gibson.

Celebrate Poland also will sell novelties for kids during the event.

''Celebrate Poland keeps growing and attracting new people, but the tradition keeps on going,'' Best said. ''We have a strong sense of community here.''

For a complete list of activities, visist



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