When a man in a fake beard — simultaneously spinning polka records and playing the accordion — tells you to celebrate something called Dyngus Day, we recommend you heed his advice. After all, that guy is (probably) the hilarious DJ Kishka and he's talking about one of Cleveland's quirkiest holidays.
Dyngus Day, a Polish tradition, occurs every year on Easter Monday throughout several neighborhoods on Cleveland's west side. How do we celebrate? With tons of Polish food, polka music and beer, of course. There's also an evening parade consisting of a majestic pierogi float, an army of marching accordionists and the kind of eccentric camaraderie one can only find in Cleveland.
What You'll See:
- Polka dancing...and lots of it. The music schedule includes a full day packed with accordionists and polka bands — at both indoor and outdoor stages — that draw thousands of fans ranging from Polish grannies to mustachioed hipsters.
- Nom some serious pierogi or a savory Polish sausage sandwich. For dessert, don't miss the ultra-Polish tradition of paczki, which is a lot like a donut, but way way way better.
- This is Cleveland. So, naturally, beer is a critical part of the festivities. For a legit Polish experience, tip back a few Tyskie beers straight from the motherland. Na zdrowie!
What Else To Do:
- If you want a good laugh, you can't miss DJ Kishka's performances during Dyngus Day at his very own Beer Heaven Tent. The guy's a legit celebrity in The Land because his shows leave attendees breathless from the nonstop dancing and constant laughter.
- One of the event's most popular activities is The Miss Dyngus Day Pageant. Young women (and men) are put through a battery of (amusing) tests during the festival for the chance to win this shot at royalty. Once crowned, Miss Dyngus Day places the ceremonial pierogi on top of the Dyngus Day float, sits on a throne and gets serenaded by a ménage of accordions. (We couldn't make this stuff up if we tried.)
Where to Stay:
The minute you set foot in The Land, there’s so much to do it might be hard to figure out where to start. Whether you’re making a pilgrimage to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, enjoying a culinary revelation from one of our world-class dining establishments, catching a Browns Game at FirstEnergy stadium or celebrating the Polish people with polka dancing and pierogies, it’s all accessible from Downtown Cleveland.
Check out all of the first-class accommodations available to you in the heart of all Cleveland has to offer.