Cohoes Prepared for Another Rowdy Dyngus Day
By Scott Salad
Published March 20th, 2016
A woman gets a bucket of Mohawk River water dumped on her head during last year's Dyngus Day celebration in Cohoes. (Photo by Opusztaszer.)
COHOES — Overzealous Dyngus Day revelers beware: This year, law enforcement officials in Cohoes want you to know that a tactical SWAT unit will be watching you.
The 42-person Dyngus Day Response Team will be patrolling city streets during the popular Eastern European holiday in an effort to quell an atmosphere of anarchy that has marred recent celebrations.
“Ninety percent of Cohoes is either Polish or Ukrainian,” said Cohoes Police Chief Smitty Blossom. “So yeah, Dyngus Day is a real headache for my department.”
Also known as “Wet Monday,” Dyngus Day is held the day after Easter. Traditionally, men — some of whom are dressed as bears — douse women with water and spank them with pussy willows. In return, women are encouraged to throw dishes at their male attackers.
“No one is really sure what Dyngus Day is all about,” said Blossom. “But once the beer starts flowing and the polka gets tossed on, women get whipped in the ass and thrown into the drink. That's all I know.”
In 2011, a Cohoes woman was flung into the Hudson River while she was sleeping.
Mikayla Babiak — who was unharmed when police fished her out of the river near Troy — claimed she had no idea who has behind the attack.
“Witnesses reported seeing a group of men quietly carrying a bed down Ontario Street,” said Blossom. “We think that was her.”
No arrests were made, but the next day several of Babiak's male friends — including her fiancé, Ludoslaw Rog, also of Cohoes — were treated for crockery-related lacerations at Samaritan Hospital, leading many to speculate that revenge, in keeping with Dyngus Day tradition, had been exacted.
In 2014, another Cohoes woman was treated for minor injuries after a whipping that some say went too far.
Kasia Plopowski was eating kielbasa at a Dyngus Day event on Remsen Street when an inebriated ruffian in a Winnie-the-Pooh costume swatted her repeatedly with pussy willow switches.
“Attractive girls are particularly vulnerable on Dyngus Day,” said Cohoes Mayor Sean Moose. “I don't know why they leave the house to tell you the truth.”
After last year's intricately painted Ukrainian egg fight left city streets a hot, stinking mess, the city felt compelled to act.
Blossom says the DDRT will be stationed at several Dyngus Day hotspots this year, including the Polish-American Club, the Ukrainian Club and St. Michael's Church.
“Our mobile patrol unit,” said Blossom, “has also been instructed to detain anyone carrying an accordion or a clarinet.”