Ostatki: Your Last Chance to Party

Annual Polish Carnival celebration moves to Boardman, Feb 9th

The raucous annual revelry of Carnival in Brazil and Mardi Gras in New Orleans are legendary and widely imitated. However, lesser-known celebrations have taken place for generations in other parts of the world, particularly in those countries where Christian traditions have made the 40 days before Easter a time of extreme sacrifice and solemnity. 

Poland is one of those countries and Mahoning Valley Poles are inviting others to join them this year as they host Ostatki: A Polish Carnival Celebration, on Saturday, February 9, 2013 7 PM at The Magic Tree Pub & Eatery. $40 per person and NEW THIS YEAR a $35 non-drinking option as well as a wine exchange for those who aren’t vodka or beer fans.

“We thought that with the closing of The Youngstown Club that it might mark the end of our favorite pre-Lenten celebration,” said Aundréa Cika, Director of PolishYoungstown, “but I am excited to say that our friend Katie Dodd of YTown Club fame has come to our rescue by welcoming us to her new home.”

It will have all your favorite events and activities including guided tastings of Polish vodka, beers, wine and liquors complimented by a food pairing buffet. Live music will start the evening as guests enjoy basket raffles, trivia games and desserts. The evening will climax with the presentation of the celebratory pączki, special oversized donuts with a hidden surprise for one lucky winner!

Directly translated as “the last,” the event gives guests a final chance at merriment before the solemnity of Lent. “This is a big event back in the villages where my ancestors came from outside of Warsaw,” said Angela Messenger, event chair. “People traditionally start their festivities a whole week before, and it doesn’t stop until late on Shrove Tuesday. We wanted to recreate the spirit of that time so Valley residents could enjoy it right here.” 

Innovative Vodka Cocktails part of the fun
And don’t forget our Annual Vodka Cocktail Contest, sponsored by Vesica Vodka. It is open to professional and amateur bartenders! So if you think you mix a mean drink you can compete head to head with bartenders from some of Youngstown’s hippest establishments--and Polish Happy Hour host locations—jump in there and show your stuff. All will be competing for prizes before a panel of local “celebrity” judges and two-time winner Lisa Lotze. We’ve pulled her out the mix so more of you have a chance!! Each drink will be tested for creativity, flavor, originality and Polish theme. And the contestants’ drinks will be available for guests to try for themselves afterward, too! Learn more about it here

About Polish Karnawal  
Poles begin their celebrations earlier than in the states, starting on the Thursday before Ash Wednesday, with Tlusty Czwartek (Fat Thursday). On this day, they commonly eat the paczki, Polish donuts. The reason for making these decadent fried dough balls was to use up all the lard, sugar, eggs and fruit in the house, which are forbidden during Lent. The revelry and neighborly gatherings continued until the day before Ash Wednesday known as Sledziowka (Herring Day). On that day you eat as much herring as you can, drink vodka and dance because the next day it is all over.

Ostatki: Sneak Peek at the Evenings Activities

If the raucous, annual revelry of Carnival in Brazil and Mardi Gras in New Orleans are legendary and widely imitated, then Polish Youngstown’s Ostatki can’t be far behind. This event is talked about for months afterward. For those of you who didn’t make it in the past, here is how this year’s event might go…

Upon arriving, you will receive a string of beads and your personalized Passport for the evening. This will be your guide through Poland and the array of imported vodkas, beers and wines--most of which are not readily available for purchase in Ohio. You go from station to station learning a little about each and sampling up to five of them.  Finish your passport and earn a string of beads.

Simultaneously, you will be trying to fill out your Polish Trivia card. Each person receives a different card when they arrive. Some questions are easy and some are challenging. To make it fun, there are trivia answers on the back...but not yours! So if you introduce yourself to the right person you just might find all the answers for which you are searching!

Turn in your passport and earn a string of beads AND you will be put into a drawing for a door prize! Attendees are welcome to try to get fellow guests to part with some of their beads, perhaps by purchasing additional drinks at the bar for a new friend. If you have the Most Beads at the end of the evening, you win a prize.
This year we are changing up the food. The wide selection of vodka, beers, wine and liquors will be complimented by a delicious buffet incorporating what “foodies” call “food pairing.” Sure we will include some of your Polish favorites... but the chef will also make some new items using the beer and vodka you are enjoying that night!

mewhere during all of this we will be conducting a Vodka Cocktail Contest. Amateurs and bartenders from a number of Youngstown's hippest establishments--and Polish Happy Hour host locations--will be competing for prizes before a panel of celebrity judges based on creativity, flavor and originality. Each of the contestants’ drinks will be available for you to try for yourself afterward!

And it wouldn't be a Mahoning Valley event if you couldn't buy chances on gift baskets or a 50/50 raffle. In keeping with the tone of the evening, only high-value baskets are welcome so it will be very enticing.

The high point of the night will be the Paczki Parade. It has long been a tradition that women would parade around a delectable pile of fresh filled donuts then reach in trying to grab the special one with a surprise inside. We change it up to include men in our parade too. The token inside means that the lucky person is royalty for the rest of the night and receives a Paczki Royalty prize package along with his/her sash!
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