A hundred years on
The national flag, flown from public buildings for months now, serves as a daily reminder of one very special anniversary: the centennial of Poland's independence, whose celebrations will culminate in November.
11 November will mark the one hundredth anniversary of Poland's independence. In Poznań, the festivities will kick off with a holy mass in the name of the Fatherland, to be held in Poznań's Parish Church. After the service, the attendees will proceed to Plac Wolności (Liberty Square) where, at noon, a concert by the Air Force Orchestra will be followed by a military parade and historical re-enactments. Modern military equipment will be displayed next to historic materiel tested in in the fight for the borders of the renascent Republic.
Many Poznanians will be thrilled to see the Austin-Putilov armoured vehicle dubbed "Poznańczyk" seized in May 1920 near Babruysk (in present-day Belarus) by the 55th Infantry Regiment of the 14th Wielkopolska Infantry Division. "The vehicle was the first acquisition of its kind by the Wielkopolska Armoured Vehicle Platoon", says Tomasz Stube of the Office of Wielkopolska Governor.
A canon will be installed in Plac Wolności (Liberty Square) and fired at the culminating point. According to the organisers, the big highlight in the Square will be a multimedia presentation of the history of the Wielkopolska Uprising using the projection mapping technology. In addition to the Independence Day festivities proper, a number of related exhibitions will also be held.
On 9 November, a display on everyday life in contemporary Poland will open at the Arsenał Municipal Gallery. Regained independence is hoped to inspire a critical look at the present. On the same day, an exhibition entitled Wielkopolanie ku Niepodległej (Wielkopolska residents for Independence) focusing on the Wielkopolska residents' fight for Polish independence in 1918-1920, will be installed in front of the Guardhouse. Its launch will coincide with a visit by a 100-person-strong Polish-German delegation expected to travel by train from Magdeburg, Germany to Warsaw, with a stopover in Poznań, as part of the Independence Express. Another exhibition, also in front of the Guardhouse, will recount the history of the District Parliamentary Assembly convened shortly before the outbreak of the Wielkopolska Uprising.
Do not miss the musical events scheduled for the occasion. To get into the patriotic spirit in a more intimate setting, come on November 8 to the Residence & Workshop of Kazimiera Iłłakowiczowna on Gajowa Street to a patriotic and campfire song concert with accompaniment by Stanisław Horbik (starting at 5pm). On 17 November at 5pm, Aula Nova of the Poznań Academy of Music will be the venue of the As Long as Poland Lives in Us concert by solo singers, the University Choir, and the Wind Orchestra of the Poznań School of Music. On 11 November at 6pm, the Philharmonic Concert Hall will host the concert To Independent Poland on Her Anniversary with music by Polish composers performed by the Poznań Nightingales Choir and the Poznań Philharmonic Orchestra. The Feliks Nowowiejski Music Salon will hold the concert Non Omnis Moriar featuring the Cracow Harp Trio (7 Nov. at 6pm).
While the above events are certain to draw massive crowds, one of them, the Centennial Foot Race 2018, will undoubtedly surpass them all. This year, its organisers expect a staggering 25,000 participants, many of them from out of town. The contenders will vie for a centennial medal of 24-karat gold. The race, scheduled to commence at 11:11am, will end on Al. Niepodległości. Medals will be awarded in front of the Castle (Zamek) Cultural Centre on a stage designed for In Praise of Freedom: the St. Marcin Street Name Day celebration held as part of Independence Day festivities.
translation: Krzysztof Kotkowski
© Wydawnictwo Miejskie Posnania 2018