FESTIVALS & EVENTS : Dozynki '91 Offers More Than Just Beer and Babka

Janet Eastman is assistant editor of The Times Orange County View section.

It's easy to check into Lech Walesa Inn. No need to board a plane, pack a passport or stuff your wallet full of zlotys. You just have to drive to Yorba Linda this weekend.

The Inn, where patrons are served such cafe fare as czarnina (duck's blood soup) and kiszka (pork and barley sausage), is temporarily on-site at the Pope John Paul II Polish Center. It's one of the many offerings of Dozynki '91, the center's 13th annual harvest festival.

Event planners estimate that 12,000 pierogi (dumplings), 2,500 golabki (cabbage rolls), 1,000 pounds of kapusta (sauerkraut) and 1,200 pounds of kielbasa (Polish sausage) will be consumed during the two-day festival. Poppy-seed cake, cheesecake, blintz and other desserts will complete the authentic feast.

But there's more than beer and babka being offered. Polish historic artifacts such as dolls, carvings and peasant art will be on display, cookbooks and imported gifts will be for sale, and a cultural program will spotlight traditional folk songs accompanied by accordion and violin and two dance troupes performing steps from various regions. Polkas (and other forms of continental dancing--such as the tango) kick off Saturday night at 8 to tunes provided by the Dave Miron Orchestra.

A harvest processional begins at 1 p.m. Sunday. People in gala costumes--sequined vests, flowered skirts and silk-flowered hair wreaths--will carry farm tools and "the fruits of the Earth" to symbolize the bounty reaped in the fields. A super-size loaf of shepherd bread will be broken and shared among the crowd as the farm folk from the village did in days long gone by.

Presiding over the event will be "The Lady and Lord of the Manor," a couple chosen by center members. Maybe they'll host a round at the Inn.

What: Polish Harvest Festival.

When: Saturday, Sept. 21, noon to 11 p.m.; Sunday, Sept. 22, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Where: Pope John Paul II Polish Center, 3999 Rose Drive, Yorba Linda.

Whereabouts: Take the Orange Freeway to Imperial Highway exit; head east. Go to Rose Drive; turn right. Or take the Riverside Freeway to Imperial Highway exit; head west to Rose Drive; turn left. The Center is on the right side of the street.

Wherewithal: Admission is free. Food and beverage coupons sell for 25 cents each. Dinners cost $6.

Where to Call: (714) 996-8161.

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