The Warsaw Voice » Culture » Monthly - July 9, 2008
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U.S. Independence Day Party Draws Crowds
Almost 1,000 guests packed into the grounds of Warsaw's Królikarnia Palace Saturday, July 5, to celebrate U.S. Independence Day, the biggest event of the American social calendar in Poland.

American and Polish businesspeople, diplomats, their friends and families enjoyed an evening of live music, a dance show and free food and drinks. Almost 200 children invited to the party were entertained by organized games and face-painting. The evening was rounded off with a display of fireworks.

U.S. ambassador to Poland Victor Ashe greeted guests, telling them that, as well as marking the 232nd anniversary of the declaration of American independence on July 4, 1776, the celebrations in Warsaw "remind us of the strong ties that exist between Poland and the United States... that I hope will continue for many years into the future."

Downpours that saw hailstones thudding down on Warsaw earlier in the day gave way to a sunny late afternoon. "I was worried at 1 p.m. about the weather but clearly now it's in great shape," Ashe joked.

Dorota Dabrowski, executive director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Poland, which organized the celebrations, said, "We raised a record zl.12,000 in proceeds from a raffle. The cash will go to children's homes in Poland to buy things they need such as beds, heating systems, English lessons and to allow children to go to summer camp."

Other attractions of the evening included a presentation-of-the-colors ceremony accompanied by the American and then the Polish national anthems, and performances by Artur Cieciórski and Justyna Białow±s, from the Polish You Can Dance television talent show.

The evening also had a green theme highlighting environmental issues, said Dabrowski, adding that 2008 is Green Year for the American Chamber of Commerce in Poland.