Dyngus Day celebrations make a return across Michiana

NOW: Dyngus Day celebrations make a return across Michiana

SOUTH BEND, Ind. --- Dyngus Day celebrations are back in full swing after a two-year hiatus  thanks to COVID-19.

Community members started bright and early Monday but lasted all the way into this evening bringing forth all their favorite Polish traditions.

Dancing, laughter, and lots of hugs filled the South Bend Firefighters' Association Local 362 on Dyngus Day for the first time in two years.

“It’s nice to see everybody else come out and celebrate and hang out and for us to be able to see people in a more social atmosphere instead of through work," said Eric Griffin, Vice President of South Bend Firefighters Local 362.

The traditional Polish holiday falls after Easter to celebrate the end of Lent.

It’s also typically known as a day men would throw water on women they’re interested in dating, but here in South Bend it means something much more for Patricia Szymczak.

“I love it because I love the getting together and this problem about not being able to get out and going anyplace it well, okay, for an old lady it disturbed me," said Szymczak, a South Bend resident.

Szymczak is Polish. She’s celebrated Dyngus Day for almost ninety years.

Every year she looks forward to the food, which didn’t disappoint Monday.

“I love the polish sausage that’s gotta be #1 for me for sure," said Maurice Manuel, a South Bend resident.

“My favorite food is the pierogis. I’ve never had them before and they’re awesome," said Valerie Clinski, a South Bend resident.

Polish or not everyone hit the dance floor to take part in the celebration.

“Even my friends the Hungarians and the Belgians they celebrate Dyngus Day and it’s awesome. You get together and have a great time. That’s what you need in this life," said Szymczak.

The firefighters union plans to continue the traditions with a similar all-day celebration, next year.

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