Set up for Dyngus Day Parade underway

Posted at 11:56 PM, Apr 16, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-16 23:56:01-04

The 11th annual Dyngus Day Parade is taking place Monday afternoon. This year, close to 50,000 are expected to participate in all festivities! Preparations for the Dyngus Day celebration were in full-swing Sunday.

It's a day many wait for all year, including the Polish Cadets, and James Johnson, the mastermind behind their floats. Johnson decorates a new float for the Dyngus Day Parade each year.

"It's great people, people cheer," said Johnson. "It's like The Bills winning a Super Bowl - it's phenomenal!"

He dedicates more than four days to making their float look the best it can, and as Polish as possible. This year, the Warsaw Mermaid took center stage.

"We go through and see if it's history or folklore," said Johnson. "If it has something to do with Polish culture, then we go forward and we do it. We just want to be the best! We try to amp the parade up so everyone can start building more and bigger every year."

As he spray painted away, the Polish flag flew high and proud on the street where thousands are expected Monday afternoon for Dyngus Day festivities.

"This thing has grown so much over the last 11, 12 years that we ran out of space to fit all the people, so we need to create a little tent city here," said Eddy Dobosiewicz, President of Dyngus Day Buffalo.

That's a job they normally do Monday morning, but this is the first year they start preparing a day ahead. All to accommodate the large crowd they're expecting.

"In the last five or six years it's been noticeable how many people are traveling from great distances to attend Dyngus Day in Buffalo," Dobosiewicz said.

He added that in 2007, about 500 people participated in Dyngus Day festivities. But Monday, they're expecting close to 50,000 to celebrate heritage, but also the re-awakening of a neighborhood that's rich in history.

"Shine some positive light on the neighborhood and bring people back, even if it's for one day," said Dobosiewiz. "Let them come in for one day and experience the historical treasures that we have here."