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Monday, July 24, 2006

Polka marathon - not for young wimps

Delightful story about polka veterans congregating in Radway, AB for 10 hours of non-stop dancing at a recent polka marathon.

Polkafests, which have existed for as long as accordions have squeezed out melodies, are still alive and well, said Robert Tomkins, host of CFCW's Zabava program, a show devoted to Ukrainian music.

... Multiple bands play virtually continuous music in a community dance hall over at least two days for an audience dominated by seemingly tireless seniors. Sometimes, as in Radway, out-of-towners park their motorhomes right beside the dance hall, allowing for quick dress changes and a sense of community. ...

Many in Radway said they plan their calendar around polkafests scheduled in towns around Alberta, Saskatchewan and B.C. Some travel as far away as Wisconsin, Ohio and North Dakota for a good polka.

This year was the town's fourth annual polkafest. Every year it gets bigger. Nearly 90 per cent of the 300 people ... came from out of town. ...

"The polkafest puts us on the map," Radway Agricultural Society president Maurice Kruk said. "Plus, with technological advancements, IPods and the like, it's nice to get back to our roots and pay attention to the old-time theme."

Now, these old guys and gals obviously know how to have fun... and without trashing the premises like some younger folk do.

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