Socially-distanced Dyngus Day celebrations return at local brewery

Socially-distanced Dyngus Day celebrations return at local brewery

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Hundreds of Clevelanders gathered today at the Forest City Brewery to celebrate a smaller, pandemic-style Dyngus Day.

“The polka gods are shining down upon us right now. Do you see it? Do you feel it?” Justin Gorski, who goes by the stage name DJ Kishka, said.

The event arrives a year after the festivities were cancelled during the start of the coronavirus pandemic. “Things are starting to loosen up and people are able to get out and feel good about it,” Gorski said.

The brewery employed a staggered approach to the event—guests who purchased tickets would only be present for a set amount of time before they packed up and welcomed new invitees. Organizer Adam Roggenburk said the tickets sold in a matter of minutes.

“We’re still wearing masks, doing whatever we can, but we’re going to make it,” he added.

At the site, staff and guests used masks and hand sanitizer when they stepped out of their seating sections. The venue welcomed the laughs, cheers, food, and music customary to the Polish holiday.

Gorski was particularly excited at the possibility of enjoying Dyngus Day in person. Last year, when the in-person event was cancelled, he helped organize and participate in a virtual celebration on YouTube.

“As long as I’m still around, it’s happening, baby,” he said.

Today, his experience over the past year came to a satisfying conclusion as he officially carried out a ceremony for his daughter, Simone, who was crowned as last year’s Miss Dyngus Day.

“That’s what it’s all about., your family, your friends, the spring, good time music,” he said, “it’s a true Cleveland event.”

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