CLEVELAND -- Monday marks the 4th year that Dyngus Day will be celebrated in Cleveland.

The historically polish tradition celebrates the end of the Lenten season with food, music and entertainment.

Dyngus Day began in Europe, where boys would wake girls they liked by pouring buckets of water on their head and striking their legs with twigs.

DJ Kishka, polka DJ, helped to establish the annual event in Cleveland after attending the festival in Buffalo.

"Instead of the Mardi Gras before lent, this is the party after lent. It's kind of the sister party to the Mardi Gras," Kishka says.

What started out as approximately 1,000 people in just a few venues has blossomed in its fourth year to over 26 venues of food, music and entertainment.

This year they're expecting between 15,000 to 20,000 people in Tremont, Ohio City and Gordon Square, with Lolly the Trolley available to take attendees to all three.

The agenda includes parades, a Miss Dyngus Pageant, dog pageant, polish food, polka bands and more.

Most venues open at 11 a.m. with pageants at 4 p.m. and the parade stepping off at 5 p.m.


For a complete list of events and locations, visit