On Friday, we previewed the major Dyngus Day events for Monday, but to simplify your aims for the Polish extravaganza, here's the 2015 Dyngus Day bucket list.
1) Eat a Polish food you can't pronounce
Explanation: Maybe that's golabki (cabbage roll filled with meat), czarnina (duck blood soup) or barszcz (red beet-based or white sauerkraut thickened with wheat flour). Or paczki -- which you may be familiar with due to co-celebration with Mardi Gras -- or Nalesniki, which look delicious.
2) Don't be bashful around the Krupnik
Explanation: Finding Tyskie and Zywiec, popular Polish beers, won't be difficult at Buffalo's Dyngus Day festivities. But Krupnik -- even though it sounds like a Polish spaceship -- is a honey flavored liqueur-esque drink you can find at the Adam Mickiewicz Library and other Polish outposts.
3) Wear or buy a (tasteful) piece of Polish clothing
Explanation: Local companies produce Dyngus Day-inspired clothing; here are a few links: My Buffalo Shirt, AndBuffalo, Born in Buffalo and, if you have a spare $40, there's an official Buffalo Bills Dyngus Day shirt from the team's online store.
4) Eat one of Lotties' famous pierogi from R&L Lounge
Explanation: Just down the road from the Broadway Market is R&L Lounge, a Mecca for homemade Polish food since 1969. As you can read in Andrew Galarneau's 2010 feature, the Pikuzinskis are serious about their piergoi and golabki, and they simply want to hang out with you. (If you're an old-school Buffalo soccer fan, Ronnie Pikuzinski, Lottie's husband, is former Blizzard star Rudy Pikuzinski's father's brother. There's some Polish trivia for you.)
5) Make it upstairs at the Adam Mickiewicz Library this time
Explanation: Do you know what's upstairs in the Adam Mickiewicz Library? (Hint: It's not another bar.) Pure culture. The 120-year-old building holds 12,000 volumes of Polish literary works, plus 400 hand-copied plays. Torn Space Theater stages most of its plays there, too. So, once you're done romping around on Dyngus Day, just remember that the Adam Mickiewicz Library and Dramatic Circle is open the rest of the year, too.
6) Hear Those Idiots perform in the Pussy Willow Party Tent (8 p.m. Monday, Memorial & Peckham)
Explanation: Those Idiots have become Dyngus Day polka legends over time, with lead singer Myron Deputat becoming Buffalo's Polish showman. Our favorite, though, is extremely peppy trumpet player Matt "Shorty" Schroeder, who can be seen bouncing all over the stage from beginning to end of each set. We do not know where he gets his energy.
7) Pussy willows or squirt guns?
Explanation: The glass-half-full person sees these Dyngus Day traditions as lighthearted means of flirting. If you're new to the moves that send Anderson Cooper into a giggle-fit, men can flirt with women by shooting them with squirt guns, while women playfully retaliate by slapping them with pussy willows. (Bonus: Prove your maturity by not chuckling whenever you say "pussy willow.")
8) Appreciate one of the massive churches near the Central Terminal
Explanation: Roll into St. Stanislaus Roman Catholic Church (123 Townsend St., commonly referred to as St. Stan's) or Corpus Christi Church (199 Clark St.) and take a moment to marvel at the architecture and stained glass before you hop in line for the lazy pierogi.
9) Actually attend the parade!
Explanation: For many, the temptation to make a beeline to the Pussy Willow Party Tent or start hopping between Polish establishments is quite strong. Avoid being in a rush and actually stop and enjoy the parade, which takes off at 5 p.m. from in front of the Corpus Christi Church. This link from DyngusDay.com gives additional information, like the best vantage points to watch.
10) Support a locally-owned Polish business
Explanation: From longtime veterans like Mazurek's Bakery to newcomers like food truck Betty Crockski, local businesses will post up throughout the Polonia District. Dyngus Day is a fine time to support local.
Bonus: Say hi to Airborne Eddy, if you can catch him, and ask him how he got his nickname (and how to pronounce his last name, if you're really good at conversing).
Email Ben Tsujimoto, who is actually a slight bit Polish, at email@example.com
Story topics: Adam Mickiewicz Dramatic Circle and Library/ Betty Crockski/ Corpus Christi Church/ Dyngus Day/ Dyngus Day Parade/ Eddy Dobosiewicz/ Krupnik/ Mazurek's Bakery/ pierogi/ Polish food/ R&L Lounge/ St. Stanislaus Roman Catholic Church/ Those Idiots