Sat May 4 – Celebrate Polish Constitution Day

Winona, MN — On Saturday, May 4, 2019 celebrate with Winona’s Polish Cultural Institute & Museum 1791 Polish Constitution Day with a memorial service and banquet.


4pm @ St. Stanislaw’s Basilica: Memorial Service;
5:30pm @ Polish Museum Morrison Annex 363 E. 2nd St: Social Hour with an authentic traditional Polish dinner served at 6:00 p.m. Speaker: Dr Joseph (Banbenek) Hughes — the first fifty years of St. Stanislaw Parish.

Tickets are $15 and are available on a first come basis. They can be purchased at Midtown Foods, calling the Polish Museum or at the door.

“Bash the Poles til they have had enough…”

Otto von Bismarck

Tadeusz Kosciuszko helped Thomas Jefferson formulate our United States Constitution. He then went back to his homeland and helped formulate Poland’s Constitution which was approved by the Polish Parliament on May 3, 1791. Though this Constitution lasted only four years due to the aggression of Prussia, Russia and Austria and the resulting dissolution of Poland as a Sovereign Nation, it was never forgotten or ended.

Preserved in the hearts of those oppressed people for 123 years, it was re-awakened in 1918 as Poland regained its independence at the end of WWI.By this time Winona’s Polish immigrants had already left the oppression of their occupiers (they owned nothing, couldn’t, fish, hunt, or even pick firewood from the woods of their occupiers) and the nastiness of Chancellor Otto Von Bismarck: “Bash the Poles til they have had enough…it’s The only way for us to survive.” They arrived in the United States to work at menial
jobs, living close together for security and language. They celebrated their faith, their feasts their heroes, their new lives and actually began to thrive-all the while keeping the memory of their homeland in their minds and hearts.

Today, five and six generations later, Polish-Americans still respect and honor the people who generated not only their hair and eye color, but also their personalities and abilities; along with their traditions, faith and food.

Smaczne Jablka – Winona’s Tasty Apple Festival – Oct. 7, 2018

Free Admission!

When: Sunday, October 7th from 11 am to 4 pm

Where: 102 Liberty Street and at the Annex

The Annual Smaczne Jablka Festival celebrates Winona’s unique Polish Heritage.

Minnesota’s Polish culture comes to life in Winona …

Please Join Us!

  • Polish Food & Beer
  • Arts & Crafts
  • Children’s Activities
  • Polish Sheep Dogs
  • Great Food & Smiles!

Exchange Student Program, July 2017

Congratulations to Emily Boettger, Lauren Graf, and Julia Fravel for having completed the student exchange trip to Bytów, Poland, during July.  Our young students felt right at home because their hosts were so welcoming and caring. And what fun they had with their new friends visiting the local sights, walking everywhere, staying out late, and eating their fill of pierogis, gołabki, kiełbasy – even the vegetables tasted good!

This is the Museum student exchange program at its best: opening the door to the history and culture of Poland in the company of good friends. The students expressed their appreciation for the efforts of all those who made the trip possible, Fr. Breza for establishing the program, Ms. Joanna Malek for organizing everything in Bytów, and Mayor Sylka for hosting the program.

Opłatki Sunday – Dec. 3, 2017

Opłatki Sunday, 12:00 to 3:00

Come join us at the Polish Museum main building to celebrate with good fellowship the coming of Christmas. We will be singing Polish and American Christmas carols with the accompaniment of the newly-donated piano. All to be followed by a generous serving of snacks and treats.

Opłatki Sunday is named in honor of the popular Polish custom where the wafer of unleavened bread is shared in the home to ask forgiveness for our foibles and express our love for each other as we prepare for the coming of the Christ Child.

Smaczne Jabłka (Tasty Apple Festival) – Oct. 1, 2017

Smaczne Jabłka (Tasty Apple Festival) from 11:00 to 4:00 at the Museum.

Activities for the entire family. Greeters in authentic Polish folk costumes, live music including a polka band, international dancers from Winona to perform Polish folk dances at 2:00, wagon rides for the children, face painting, pumpkin painting, Polish cartoons on TV, Polish sheep dog

Food menu: pierogi, gołąbki (cabbage rolls) kiełbasa, grits and baloney, Polish rye bread, poppy seed coffee cake, pączki (jelly-filled donuts) and all things apple – apple pie, apple crisp, apple juice, fresh apples and more

Żywiec Polish beer

“Polish Power” businesses on display: Peerless Chain, Fastenal, Unique Communications, Miller Scrap truck display, antique fire truck, Ed Kamrowski’s antique tractors

Museum gift shop will be open featuring our latest shipment of authentic Polish pottery

Craft fair of local artisans with items for sale

Silent auction: silver tea set, Polish glassware, gift certificates, housewares, and many more

Chances for prizes totaling $2,000 cash value

Exchange Student Reception – Aug. 22, 2017

Julia Fravel, Lauren Graf, and Emily Roettger, Winona exchange students to our sister city of Bytow, Poland, have returned to Winona after a month-long visit. The exchange students were sponsored by the Polish Cultural Institute and Museum and hosted by families in Bytów.

This exchange is an annual summer event with students from Winona going to Poland in odd numbered years, and students from Poland coming to Winona in even numbered years. This is an opportunity for the students to experience the family life of local host families and to create lifelong friendships. These exchanges help in promoting and preserving our heritage.

There will be a reception for the students at the Polish Museum Annex, 363 East Second Street on Tuesday, August 22nd at 6:30 pm. The students will talk about their experiences in Poland, and an audience question and answer period will follow. The public is welcome to attend and learn more of the exchange program and Poland.

We continue to recruit students for future exchanges, For more information contact Father Paul Breza at (507) 454-3431.

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Dyngus Day (Volunteer Appreciation) – Apr. 17, 2017

Dyngus Day is an old Polish Easter Monday custom. Every year on that day, Polish Museum volunteers are recognized for their service over the last year. On April 17, Fr. Paul Breza, Museum founder, served up a banquet of ham, German and American potato salads, cucumber and tomato salad, and home-made blueberry sauce over ice cream for dessert to recognize the efforts of 40 volunteers who make the Museum one of the top tourist attractions in the city. Sheila Daly was honored for 40 years of exceptional volunteer service to the Museum.

Polish Pottery Sale – Aug. 14, 2017

After a yearlong wait, the museum has received an order of 4000 lbs. of pottery direct from Poland.  We have pottery everywhere and to make space for this new inventory, we are having a Polish pottery sale in our museum gift shop. Prices are quite low when compared with other stores because we buy direct with no middle man and our clerks are volunteers.

The sale is being held every Friday and Saturday in August, 10:00 am. to 3:00 pm in the Museum Gift Shop.

Lubiana pottery is noted for its very white clay and Polish designs. We have many new styles along with our old standbys. Some of the new designs are trimmed with 10k gold making them very attractive. There is also a large selection of coffee cups in many different sizes.

Now is the time to think of Christmas gifts for family or friends, or something special just for you.