Szopka Festival and competition at the Utica Public Library

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

The exhibition itself will feature Notre Dame High School student entries, from grades eight through 12, 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 19thcentury.

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.

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

All events of the Festival 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 will have the option of voting for the Viewer’s Choice Award Friday, Dec. 1, from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., if they are not able to vote Dec. 2.

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