will be hopping with Polish music, dance and other activities Sunday in celebration of Polish Heritage Day in Lemont.
The Lemont Village Board passed a resolution Monday declaring the observance, which celebrates the achievements and contributions of Lemont’s large Polish and Polish-American population.
Starting at 8 a.m. Sunday, visitors can view exhibits in Parish Hall, 607 Sobieski St. A formal program will begin at 2:30 p.m.
Lotte and Bruno Koziel will be introduced as Lemont’s Poles of the Year. The Koziels have long been active in church activities and in events related to their Polish heritage, said Barbara Foran, president of the Polish Club at SS. Cyril and Methodius.
"The list is so long," Foran said of the Koziels' work in the community.
Among other things, Lotte Koziel is a co-founder of the church's Polish school — named after Pope John Paul II — and of the Polish Club, Foran said.
Wearing colorful costumes, Lemont’s Polish dancing group “Polanie” will perform Sunday, along with the Polish Highlander Music Group.
The theme of the day will be a remembrance of St. Maximilian Kolbe. A modern-day saint in the Catholic church, Father Kolbe was a Polish Franciscan friar who volunteered to die in place of a stranger in the Nazi concentration camp of Auschwitz in Poland.
Before he was taken to Auschwitz, Father Kolbe provided shelter to Polish refugees, including 2,000 Jews he hid from the Nazis. He died in 1941.
Father Kolbe was canonized as a martyr by Pope John Paul II in 1982. The man he saved in Auschwitz was in attendance at the ceremony.
Polish Heritage Day is put on by the Lemont Polish Club, which is made up of more than 100 members whose mission is to "uphold the traditions, customs and language" of their heritage.
Foran said the event is one of the biggest the club organizes all year, and is a "special celebration" of the village's strong Polish roots.
"The large Polish population makes Lemont very special because there's such a beautiful heritage that continues to be shared in the community," she said. "It's very unique and important for the history of Lemont."
The public is invited to participate in Polish Heritage Day. For more information, contact Barbara Foran at 630-863-9304.