SOUTH BEND, Ind. — It was Dyngus Day in South Bend on Monday. It won’t be when Georgia fans descend on this town in five months, but the general atmosphere probably will be somewhat similar.
Dyngus Day, for individuals who might be unfamiliar, is a traditional Polish holiday that is always celebrated the day after Easter. It is marked around here at least by a sort of a club crawl to hear speeches by political leaders, eat kielbasa and drink beer. Just think of it as the Polish version St. Patrick’s Day, only with a little politics mixed in.
Generally the same places that were packed out for Dyngus Day are the same ones that will be getting a lot of action the weekend of Saturday, Sept. 9, when the Georgia Bulldogs will be here to face Notre Dame in a football game. People have been drinking beer at the famous “Linebacker Lounge” since 9:30 a.m. Monday morning. The same thing has been going on at Hoosier Tap, Fiddler’s Hearth and D’Amici’s Club, among others.
There also is a decidedly Democratic flavor to the festivities. South Bend is generally considered a Democratic stronghold, and at least two democratic committee offices were serving beer and food and hosting speakers. Polka is the music of choice. The local Republican party outlet was not planning anything this year in conjunction with the holiday, the South Bend Tribune reported.
Atlanta also hosts some Dyngus Day celebrations. Pallookaville Fine Foods in Avondale Estates, for instance, was hosting an event on Monday. It’s just not as widely recognized back home as it is here.
Some other cool places for Georgia fans to check out when they come for the game next fall is C.J.’s Pub, The Exchange Whiskey Bar, Corby’s Irish Pub, Rocco’s Original Pizza, Lasalle Grille and Corndance Tavern in nearby Mishawaka.
And there’s also this: They have casinos here. Or nearby at least. There is actually a Four Winds Casino being built here in South Bend, but it won’t actually be open until after the Georgia game. However, there are three other Four Winds casinos nearby, including one in New Buffalo, Mich., on the lake just 45 minutes away. They have 500 beds, something to think about with accommodations as limited as they are in South Bend the week of the game.