Polish Town Civic Association has put its 'Polonaise Park' up for sale. Photo: Denise Civiletti

Polonaise Park is up for sale.

Polish Town Civic Association is looking to sell the site where it traditionally held a two-day polka festival during its annual street fair.

“We haven’t had a dance festival the last three years,” said Polish Town Civic Association president Kay Davis. “No revenue is coming in and we’re spending thousands of dollars on taxes and maintenance, so we decided to sell it.”

Davis said there’s been a decline in interest in polka dancing over the years and the civic had been losing money on the dance festival.

The civic association is not discontinuing the street fair, Davis stressed. It was canceled this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, but it will return in 2021. This would have been the 46th annual event hosted by the Polish Town Civic Association.

While the fair grew significantly in size for decades after its inception in 1975, in recent years it has gotten smaller. The civic discontinued carnival rides and the polka dance festival. Last year, the traditional Polish wedding and procession from St. Isidore’s Church to the showmobile outside Pulaski Street School did not take place.

The pavilion on the site was built in 1999 after the civic’s iconic, huge red and white striped tent was destroyed in a windstorm in 1997.

Like people, organizations have to adapt and change with the times, Davis said. The money spent for taxes and maintenance on the site can be reallocated to beautification efforts around Polish Town, she said.

The civic association is not publicly disclosing its offering price for the 1.3-acre site on the corner of Lincoln Street and Osborn Avenue, Davis said.

The pavilion property is located across the street from the civic association’s headquarters.

Davis said after the group posted “for sale” signs on the property, rumors started circulating that the civic organization is shutting down.

“Not true,” Davis said. “We have a good board and new, young members coming in,” she said.

The signs also prompted calls from 16 interested prospective purchasers, Davis said.

The property is located in the DC-3 Zoning Use District, which allows as of right a variety of commercial uses, including retail shops, banks, restaurants and offices, among others, as well as townhomes and single-family dwellings.

We need your help.
Now more than ever, the survival of quality local journalism depends on your support. Our community faces unprecedented economic disruption, and the future of many small businesses are under threat, including our own. It takes time and resources to provide this service. We are a small family-owned operation, and we will do everything in our power to keep it going. But today more than ever before, we will depend on your support to continue. Support RiverheadLOCAL today. You rely on us to stay informed and we depend on you to make our work possible.

Denise Civiletti
Denise is a veteran local reporter, editor, attorney and former Riverhead Town councilwoman. Her work has been recognized with numerous awards, including investigative reporting and writer of the year awards from the N.Y. Press Association. She is a founder, owner and co-publisher of this website.Email Denise.