The WNY community celebrates Irish, Italian and Polish traditions at the Irish Center
BUFFALO, NY (WIVB) – Hundreds of people gathered at the Irish Center in South Buffalo to celebrate a mix of holidays, including St. Patrick’s Day, St. Joseph’s Day and Dyngus Day.
After a two-year hiatus due to COVID, organizers are excited to bring people together.
“It feels good. It’s nice to see people’s faces and talk to people, it’s been a long time,” said Theresa Marcello, first vice president of the Federation of Italian American Societies in West New York.
Each room inside the centre, located on Abbott Road, showcased Irish, Italian or Polish heritage.
“We ended up at the Irish Center, the three different rooms, the sound does not pass and it is a success every year. All three nationalities have a strong presence in the Buffalo area, so here we are,” said organizer Dan McCue.
“It’s nice to see different heritages working together and enjoying each other’s heritage and customs,” Marcello said. “We love teaching our kids to continue what we’ve been doing for so many years and it’s good to bring the community together.”
For those celebrating Dyngus Day, polka music was played loud and clear.
“There’s nothing like it when you’re playing and you see a bunch of people dancing and yelling and yelling and things like that, it’s awesome,” said Dan McCue, a musician for the band “Seven.”
“My parents met at a young age, at a polka dance when my dad was playing,” said Lori Urbanczyk, who attended Sunday’s event. “It’s good. It’s also bittersweet. My dad passed away from COVID in December 2020, but it’s great to be back, to have my brother carrying on the tradition, as a family coming out and supports polka music.
The organizers also organized a tribute to show their support for Ukraine by playing the Ukrainian national anthem and waving the Ukrainian flag.
“We will show our support. I think it’s a fitting tribute and their anthem is beautiful,” McCue said.
“It’s very important for us to show that we support them in every way possible,” Marcello said.
Sarah Minkewicz is a journalist who has been part of the News 4 team since 2019. See more of her work here.