CHICOPEE, Mass. (Mass Appeal) – The Chicopee Kielbasa Festival will be returning to Szot Park this Memorial Day Weekend. Manager Thomas Kielbania, Jr. and Skye Larkin, from the Chicopee Braves Football Organization, shared more about this tasty festival!The Chicopee Kielbasa Festival
Memorial Day Weekend: May 21-25th
Szot Park, Front Street Entrance, Chicopee
Kielbasa brands, carnival rides, games, food, craft vendors, live Polka and local music, kielbasa eating contest and more!
Thursday 4PM – 11PM
Friday 4PM – 11PM
Saturday 11AM – 11PM
Sunday 11AM – 11PM
Monday 10AM – 10PM
Entry is free for Active or Retired Military with ID
Children 12 and under admitted free with adult purchase
$3 for Seniors 60 and up.
Pre-sale tickets available at Big Y from now until May 25th for $6 while supplies last.
Tickets for ages 13 and up are $10 at the gate.
Thursday and Monday is Student Day, Students are admitted free with active student ID.About the Kielbasa Festival:
Ask anyone who lived in Chicopee, MA from the 1970s to the 1990s about the World Kielbasa Festival, chances are their story will start with a smile. At its peak in the 80s, 65,000 people would flock to the rear parking lot of the Fairfield Mall (currently the Chicopee Marketplace) to take part in a four day celebration of Kielbasa, Polka music, and all things Chicopee. Admission at the gate would give you access to the carnival rides, games, casino tent, kielbasa recipe contest, kielbasa eating contest and Miss Chicopee crowning. You got to see the King Kielbasa, a giant kielbasa provided each year by Chicopee Provision Co. that reached at a size of 623 pounds, 27 feet long in 1994, or you could just sample the kielbasa, kapusta, pierogi and other Polish fare available from the many vendors along the midway. Polka music blasted almost constantly from the Alice Nahormek polka tent and fueled the polka dancers, some of whom would come to spent all four days twirling to the music of Lenny Gamulka and the Chicago Push, Jimmy Sturr’s Orchestra, and many of the best Polka bands of the day. If polka wasn’t your thing, you could head over to the oldies tent, where you might see The Crescents, The Drifters, or A Ray of Elvis perform. There was something for just about everyone.
The Kielbasa Festival grew each year since its origin in 1974 when it was first held on the bank of the river behind Main Street. It was conceived and organized by the Fireball club, a fund-raising committee for the Chicopee Chamber of Commerce, as a way to promote the many civic organizations and local businesses that call Chicopee home. Parking soon became an issue in Chicopee Falls, and after two years the festival moved to where most people remember it, on Memorial Drive. It was run by a crew of volunteers who would man the ticket booths, beer stands and clean-up crews. For 22 consecutive years, with a brief comeback in 1997, The K-Fest was a source of pride for Chicopee residents, and a genuine Chicopee tradition.
Promotional consideration provided by the Chicopee Kielbasa Festival.