Easily more than a thousand people packed into a few blocks of Shenandoah on Saturday for one of Schuylkill County’s most popular community events, the combined Heritage Day and Kielbasi Festival.
The day stepped off early with the Parade of Nations. That’s when representatives of Shenandoah’s numerous ancestries show off the color and pageantry of their once-home countries.
About a dozen different nations were represented in the 2023 parade with the Mexico contingent clearly showing off the most flair.
Among the other countries represented in the parade included the United States, Poland, Lithuania, Ukraine, El Salvador, India, Jamaica, Slovakia, and Bulgaria.
The parade also featured performances from the marching bands – playing together as one – from Shenandoah Valley, Mahanoy Area, and North Schuylkill school districts, and representatives of Shenandoah’s youth sports organizations.
Women and girls from the Mexico party donned brightly colored Jalisco dresses performed traditional dances as they marched along Main St.
The Parade of Nations was only the start of the busy day in Shenandoah. Afterward, food vendors and crafters showed off their wares for the annual Kielbasi Festival and Heritage Day.
Kielbasi Festival is a chance for the community to celebrate and showcase its two most popular makers of the scrumptious sausage, Kowalonek’s Kielbasy Shop, which started in 1911, and Lucky’s, which celebrates its 25th anniversary in business this year.
People were queued up at each shop’s stands to get a taste of their extremely popular foods. There was also a massive line at the concession stand run by the Rescue Hook & Ladder Fire Co. and we’re pretty sure everyone was there for the bleenies.
Check out some of the other sights from today’s Parade of Nations …