“Dyngus Day is like Saint Patrick’s Day, but with a lot of crazy Polish stuff,” said Adam Siemiginowski of The Hill at Muza. “It’s a big party with friends and family the Monday after Easter, when Lent is finally over and you can just let loose.”
A Polish beer garden and restaurant in Troy, The Hill at Muza (along with parent restaurant Muza) is boasting that it has the best Dyngus Day around and will be celebrating the Polish-American holiday all day long this Easter Monday, April 17, with live Polka music, unlimited kielbasa and Polish beer.
“There is a saying that ‘Everyone is Polish on Dyngus Day,'” said Siemiginowski, a first generation Polish-American. His parents, Jan and Alicja Siemiginowski, immigrated together from their native Poland to the United States almost 40 years ago. For the past decade, the husband and wife team have owned and operated Muza, a Polish restaurant, with their daughter Agata. Siemiginowski opened The Hill at Muza beer garden in late 2015, adjacent to Muza.
Dyngus Day revelers will be able to move freely between Muza and The Hill at Muza, with Muza restaurant transformed into a beer hall with the same live music as the beer garden.
While Buffalo is widely recognized for hosting the largest Dyngus Day celebration, Siemiginowski said Troy has enough spirit to hold its own in “pound-for-pound partying.”
Last year, Muza on the Hill made headlines in Buffalo for starting a healthy Dyngus Day rivalry between the two cities at either end of the Erie Canal. This year, Siemiginowski plans to continue the traditional rivalry with special t-shirts and track jackets by a neighborhood screen printer, Screen-It, commemorating Troy as “the nation’s fastest growing Dyngus.” On the back of the t-shirt there is an oval “enjoyski troyski.” symbol and a good-natured jab at Buffalo.
“Everybody knows Buffalo is the Dyngus Day Capital of the World, but Troy is the fastest growing Dyngus,” Siemiginowski said. “Around here, we say ‘Enjoyski Troyski’.”
About 500 revelers attended last year’s Dyngus Day festivities at The Hill at Muza. Siemiginowski hopes to top those numbers this year, with additional parking and a block party street closure adding more room for the event.
The celebration begins at noon with live music in the indoor/outdoor beer garden by Eddie Forman Orchestra from Hadley, Mass., playing from noon until 4 p.m., and DJ Podeswa “spinning” Polka hits from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. (There will be a $3 admission fee from noon to 3:30 p.m., while The Eddie Forman Orchestra performs live.)
An a la carte menu will feature handmade pierogi, kielbasa rolls, stuffed cabbage, euro burgers and more at multiple food stations in Muza and The Hill at Muza.
Beer will include Zywiec lager, a Polish lager brewed with mountain water that comes in liter and half-liter pours, on draft and a selection of Eastern European and American beers in bottles and cans. Beer will be served at the bar, in the restaurant, by servers in the beer garden, and on the street as part of the official block party. House red and white wine from The Hill’s new Spring wine menu will also be available.
Just as everyone is encouraged to wear green on St. Patrick’s Day, Dyngus Day revelers are encouraged to wear red, or red and white. The Hill at Muza will be selling special red track jackets embroidered with the “enjoyski troyski.” symbol. The jackets will be available for pre-order through The Hill at Muza Facebook page and website.
In addition to food, music, polka dancing and drink, the festivities include a few quirky romantic traditions, such as sprinkling water on a love interest or lightly tapping your crush with a pussy willow branch. This combination of funny sounding words and customs infamously sent media personality Anderson Cooper into an uncontrollable giggle fit on live television in 2012.