Szopka Festival and Competition at the Utica Public Library

From Dec. 7 through Dec. 10, the Utica Public Library will host its first Szopka Festival and Competition in the library gallery. The Notre Dame art and music departments under the direction of Denise Tan, Beth Evans and Valerie Elacqua, in partnership with the Kopernik Memorial Association, have put together this incredible event that includes a special art display, live performances, reception, and an awards presentation.

The exhibition itself will feature 75 Notre Dame art 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 19th century.

On Saturday, Dec. 10, the Festival Reception will commence. Between 10 and noon, the public will have the chance to vote for the Szopka “Viewers Choice Award.” Musical performances will take place throughout the afternoon between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Traditional Christmas Carols, in English and Polish, will be performed by the Notre Dame Jr./Sr. High School junior and senior band ensembles and the Praise band. Prizes for the Szopka competition will be awarded at 1 p.m. by the Kopernik Association. The final event of the Reception is an exhibit titled Wigilia: a Polish Christmas Eve, which will commence in the Music Room (adjoining the gallery) from noon to 2 p.m. This includes a visit from St. Nicholas and a storytelling at 1:15 p.m. All events of the Festival Reception are free to the public and refreshments will be served.

Story courtesy of the Madison County Courier.