Szopka Festival and competition at the Utica Public Library

Utica Library

Dec. 1 and 2, the Utica Public Library will host the second annual Szopka Festival and Competition in the library gallery. The Kopernik Memorial Association, in partnership with the Notre Dame High School Music Department, have put together this incredible event that includes a special art display, live performances, competition and an awards presentation.

The exhibition itself will feature community entries of Polish Szopka. Szopka are unique Nativity scenes that are ornately rich and detailed miniatures using recycled materials, colored foil and assorted trims. The finished creations are built to resemble the medieval architecture of Kraków. These hand-fashioned Christmas Cribs are a Polish tradition dating back to the 19th century.

On Saturday, Dec. 2, the Festival will commence. Between 11 a.m. and 12:45 p.m. there will be public viewing and voting for the “Viewer’s Choice Award.” From 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., musical performances by the Notre Dame Jr./Sr. High School band and ensembles (with costumed singers and musicians) will entertain attendees.

Starting at noon until 2 p.m., the exhibit, Wigilia: a Polish Christmas Eve display, will be available for viewing. The Szopka Competition Awards presentation will commence at 1 p.m., and at 1:15 p.m., there will be a visit from St. Nicholas.

All events are free and open to the public, and refreshments will be served. Polish items will be available for purchase. Authentic traditional Szopka will also be on display Dec. 2 only. The public also has the option of voting for the Viewer’s Choice Award Friday, Dec. 1, from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

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