>> Dożynki (Polish Harvest Festival) | Eat the World Los Angeles

Monday, 19 September 2022

Dożynki (Polish Harvest Festival)

Polish flag at entrance gate

📍 Pope John Paul II Polish Center, Yorba Linda, Orange County
🥤 Beer, wine, and Polish vodka available for purchase.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This festival takes place once a year. The 2022 event was held on the 17th and 18th of September.

With only one year of global pandemic stopping it, the Polish communities of Southern California once again got together for the 43rd time in 44 years to celebrate Dożynki, the annual harvest festival. Red and white striped tents replicating the Polish flag were set up as far as the eye could see in the grounds of the Pope John Paul II Polish Center in Yorba Linda.

The Polish harvest festival is not unlike many others around the globe that mark the occasion, a celebration of the bounty available and a hope for similar (or better!) results next year. Of course most people these days are not working the land themselves, so it is a good reason to get together with friends, family, and strangers to enjoy music, dancing, and plenty of food and drinks.

Red and white tents everywhere

The Yorba Linda event has been taking place here at the Polish Center in some form since 1983, while the few years before that were at a few various locations as the Orange County group grew. It is now quite an  occasion, with a large tent for singing and dancing, many people dressed in traditional attire (and many Polish national team jerseys as we get close to the World Cup).

Handicrafts and much else is available for purchase, plenty of opportunities to take photos, and a large tented area for eating and enjoying the performances. The biggest theme of the day seemed to be joy, as so many people of Polish heritage and those close to them could take part in customs and tradition that are few and far between in Southern California if not for days like this.

Girls watching dance performance

During this beautiful September weekend, the smells of the food entered your car as you turn the corner, a hint of a happy belly to come. There were $20 combo plates (below) that had a touch of most of what was on offer, or you could buy pierogi, kiełbasa, gołąbki, and more a la carte.

A drinks stand was also set up and doing brisk business, offering cans of Polish Żywiec beer, wines, and even Polish vodka. The busiest stand of the day was the one offering pierogi and dessert crêpes called naleśniki, as people had to take two trips once they filled up and were ready for something sweet.

$20 Combo plate
Combo plate

Kiełbasa on the grill
Kiełbasa on the grill


Naleśniki (dessert crêpes)
Naleśniki (dessert crêpes)


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