Polonia's Central Terminal hosting largest Dyngus Day party in the U.S.

Apr 22, 2019

Buffalo's historic Central Terminal will be in the limelight Monday night. The annual Dyngus Day Party is the largest in the United States and just one of many scheduled events in the coming months, designed to attract more people to the East Side landmark.

John Jiloty of the Central Terminal Restoration Corporation says board members are preparing to spend $5 million provided by the state last year.

"We want to bring as many poeople as possible in through the building with events and this $5 million will be targeted especially to shore up the concourse and shore up the restaurant space and make that heated and make that more of a almost a year-round facility that we can bring people to," Jiloty said.

Last year's Dyngus Day Parade brought out a variety of floats dressed up in Polish Pride.
Credit Mike Desmond / WBFO News

Yet, Jiloty says the Central Terminal has the potential to be the focal point of East Side revitalization similar to what's happened in Larkinville. 

"It's exciting to bringing some different events in, which has sort of been our goal and our push since doing with the Urban Land Institute study and working with Empire State Development on making this a community hub and a center for diverse events that bring a varied group of people into the building as much as and as often as we can," Jiloty said.

Jiloty said the Central Terminal is a big part of the East Side redevelopment and momentum that's going on. Among the events planned this summer is a first-ever concert by the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra.

"Our annual spring cleanup is Saturday, the 27th," he said. "We're excited. That's usually our annual volunteer drive and really get outside and clean up the grounds and work the neighborhood to make it really a beacon amoung the East Side that it should be."

Still, there are no firm plans yet to attract permanent tenants. And the corporation board was dealt a blow last year when AmTrak decided to build a new train station downtown rather than at the terminal.

Jiloty said the corporation board will soon announce the hiring of an architect to re-design the historic concourse.

Credit Dyngus Day Buffalo

The doors of the Central Terminal open at 3 p.m. Monday for the pre-parade Dyngus Day Party. Over 150 floats dressed up with Polish Pride are expected for the 13th Annual Dyngus Day Parade, which begins at 5 p.m.Dyngus Day festivities will include live music by "Those Idiots" and "Box On," authentic Polish food and drink by Potts Catering and a baloon drop at 10:30 p.m. Plenty of area restaurants are also planning Dyngus Day celebrations.