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yourTicket briefs: Annual Polishfest set for Sept. 13

yourTicket briefs: Annual Polishfest set for Sept. 13

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In this 2012 photo, Maxine Hurt of Ashton and Reuben Holeman of Arcadia dance to polka music during the Polishfest celebration in Ashton. (Zach Mayhew/For The Independent)

ASHTON — Ashton’s annual Polishfest is set for Sunday, Sept. 13, at in Ashton. This is the 20th year for this celebration.

Events kick off at 10:30 a.m. with a memorial polka mass with Father Richard Pionkowski at St. Francis Catholic Church. Myron Osentowski will provide the music. The mass will honor community members who passed away this year.

A traditional Polish buffet will be served from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in St. Francis Hall. The menu includes Polish sausage, roast pork, Polish meatballs, cabbage rolls, sauerkraut and dumplings, pierogi, dessert and more. The cost is $12 for adults, $6 for children 6-11, free for children 5 and younger.

Entertainment from 1 to 4 p.m. will feature Sheelytown, a polka band from Omaha. Founded in 2012, the band offers various styles of polka music for a wide audience.

The Polish Heritage Center Museum and gift shop will be open from noon to 4 p.m. and will feature a variety of food and gift items.

Other activities includes a silent auction (results announced at 4 p.m.), quilt raffle, country crafts and cookbooks for sale, children’s activities and more.

The event is hosted by the Polish Heritage Center. For more information, call 308-738-2260.

Yakov Smirnoff comes to Omaha Performing Arts online

OMAHA — Omaha Performing Arts presents an online comedy special by comedian Yakov Smirnoff, “United We Laugh,” at 8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 29.

Tickets to access the event are $25 per person and are available online at After completing the purchase, you will receive an email confirmation providing you with instructions on how to access the performance.

Smirnoff is a Russian immigrant who loves America and being American. He’s an iconic comedian, movie star, best-selling author and most recently, he earned a doctorate degree in Leadership from Pepperdine University. Living a life that’s as exciting as ever, he has married his sweetheart, is currently touring the world doing stand-up, and even has his very own theater in Branson, Mo.

With the heart of a dreamer, Smirnoff has made the impossible possible and continues to inspire others with his message that America is still “What a Country!” Keep an eye out for his brand-new podcast on ABC radio.

Smirnoff soared to the top of the comedy world performing on “The Tonight Show” with Johnny Carson and countless other television programs, including as a regular character on “Night Court” and the star of his very own show, named after his famous catch-phrase, “What a Country!” He branched out to the big screen where he starred in movies with Tom Hanks, Robin Williams, and Jack Nicholson to name a few.

Members sought for new playwriting group

OMAHA — The Great Plains Theatre Commons is seeking writers for a new playwriting group, First First Draft.

This program supports area individuals who are committing to writing a full-length play for the first time. Staying inspired and keeping pen to paper is a challenge for every writer, but having a group of peers working towards the same goal can help writers get to End of Play.

Writers are asked to commit to bi-weekly meetings over a three-month period for a total of six meetings. Participants share pages and support one another as they endeavor to complete a full-length play. The program facilitator meets with the group to moderate discussion, provide exercises when/if necessary and offer support.

Those meetings are planned for 7 to 8:30 p.m. Mondays Sept. 28, Oct. 12 and 26; Nov. 9 and 23 and Dec. 7. The meetings will take place via Zoom until in-person gatherings are possible.

There is no fee to take part, but a brief interview with program staff is required for admittance. Enrollment is limited. Application is due by Sept. 15. To apply send at email to to apply.

Your Ticket briefs are published every Thursday in print and online at To submit arts and entertainment announcements, submit to Terri Hahn at at least two weeks prior to the event. No information will be accepted over the phone. There is no charge for publication, but announcements must follow newspaper policy. For more information, email Hahn or call her at 308-381-9463.

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