This past weekend I found myself huffing and puffing along Queen Street West in search of plump pierogi. As soon as I zoomed under the bridge on Dufferin I was welcomed into pretty Parkdale by the unmistakable aroma of fried onions and grilled meat. Roncy romance me now!
On Saturday and Sunday Toronto’s multicultural makeup hit the West End in droves to enjoy the Roncesvalles Polish Festival, North America’s largest celebration of Polish culture. Now entering its eleventh year, Polish Fest adds an old world charm to today’s Roncesvalles Village where guests enjoy Polish folklore from Polka to Euro dance bands at Scotiabank’s Polkamania Stage and mouth-watering cuisine from over 40 renowned restaurants, cafes and bakeries featuring traditional fare including pierogi, kielbasa, bigos and cabbage rolls.
After slurping several glasses of sudsy Zywiec in an al fresco beer garden I chirped, “Polish Fest on Roncy is as fun as Pride with less hot gays and more good food!” I was honestly surprised by how much fun I had here and plan to make the post-TIFF street bacchanal one of my annual fixtures.
What I appreciated most about the festival is how it showcased how colourful our fine city is. I spotted cute families playing on pop-up carnival rides, hipster kids knocking back plum stuffed donuts on skateboards, gorgeous gays devouring sour cream slathered sausages, Indian families noshing on cabbage rolls, Tibetan monks sipping tea and and one hilarious Jamaican couple enjoying a very public polka moment giggling, “this is the place to be!”