Dyngus Day has polkas, beer and pierogies, say farewell to Lent

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - With the lighting of the Spring Rooster Dyngus Day 2018 got underway.

There's beer and pierogies, pussy willows and polkas. As a Monday in Cleveland it can't get any better. Two blocks of Detroit Avenue, between 57th and 59th,  were blocked off Monday morning, April 2 for the Eighth Annual Cleveland Dyngus Day festival. The festival, which goes from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m. is headquarted in the Detroit Shoreway neighborhood. Organizers expect more than 50,000 attendees by day end.

An opening ceremony started late, but that didn't dampen the enthusiasm of beer drinkers who already were enjoying Polish beer hours before lunch. When the Chardon Polka Band took the stage to ceremoniously start the ethnic festival crowds were inching towards the stage ready to polka. With the ceremonious lighting on fire of the spring rooster the party kicked off.

The Cleveland Dyngus Day festival includes music by the Chardon Polka Band, the Don Wojtila Band, Polka Floyd as well as a Miss Dyngus Pageant, and a Dyngus blessing from St. John Cantius Church.

Dyngus Day, sometimes called Wet Monday, is another name for Easter Monday. A Polish tradition, Dyngus Day celebrates the end of the observance of Lent and the joy of Easter.