Polkarrific Newsletter
July 1, 2012
Tim Westemeyer & Kathy Hulse See Complete Stories Below
present this to my readers. The newsletter will be about polka related stories that we encounter. I asked and assigned my best friend, Kathy, to head up the stories. She will write most of the columns. I will also have a couple writers in different areas of the tri states. Polkarrific will expand to give all our readers as much information as we can deliver. We hope to keep everyone informed on what’s going on in the polka music & dance world. The newsletter will be posted about every two months or less        
Sec 1   ~  National Polka Festival
                Ennis, Texas  
Sec 2   ~   10th Annual Becksterfest
                 Amana, Iowa  
Sec 3   ~ 14th Annual Stump Lake Festival
  Lakota, North Dakota  
depending on the load of stories. Please check back and view this website. Also email us and give us your feed back about polkarrific. It's important for us to know what you like to see and read about polka music and dance.

~~~Tim Westemeyer 
Since I began with the website, Keyman’s Corner, back in November of 2008, one of my plans was to have a newsletter. I finally sat down and figured out how I want to
contestants. After each song couples were eliminated till the last song played. The runners-up were Bob and Mary Kautzky from Iowa. The King and Queen were Jake and Jessica Holland of Ennis, Texas. The previous King and Queen were David and Diane Liska. Saturday the day started off at 7am with a Polka Fest Run in the Bluebonnet City of Texas on the west side of Ennis. The parade started at 10am. There were over 100 entries. There were numerous craft and food booths located down town. There was the Horseshoe Fest Contest and the Kolache Eating contest in the afternoon. The street dance was from noon to 3:30 pm. There were 3 halls with entertainment Saturday and Sunday. There were a total of 13 bands at the festival. On Saturday the bands were Dujka Brothers Band, Malek’s Fishermen, Wade Bowen, Robert Donahue, Texas Dutchmen, Ennis Czech Boys, Brave Combo, Praha Brothers, Alex Meixner, Texas Legacy Band, Jak Se Do,
Jodi Mikula Orchestra, and The Czechaholics. In visiting with the crowd it was brought to my attention that The Malek’s Fishermen Band had a tuba player. They pointed out to me that other bands had electronic sounding tubas. These people liked this tuba sound. On Sunday the polka Mass was at 10am. The dancing started at 12:30 pm. The crowds were entertained by Malek’s Fishermen, 
Bob & Mary Kautzky From Perry, Iowa
Second runners up in dance contest
May 25-27, 2012

  On Thursday, May 24, 2012, a busload of polka loving fans embarked on a chartered bus with Malek’s Fishermen from Garner, Iowa. They enjoyed playing Polka Bingo, watching older dvd’s of  Leo Greco, Six Fat Dutchmen and Band Wagon. They were also entertained with band members and fans jamming with their concertinas and tuba. Everyone I visited with had a great ride down South.  The first night they stayed in Wichita, Kansas. They arrived at Ennis, Texas, at 4:30 pm Friday. Fritz Hodde and The Fabulous Six were playing at the Sokol Hall. The Sokol has a huge dance floor and the hall has a capacity of 1500 people. I estimated around 1200 polka-enjoying people there that night. This was a good Czech Western Band. Everyone Was enjoying the Czech music. They sang many songs in Czech. There was a dance contest at 9 pm. They had 12 couples in the competition. Contestants were encouraged to wear traditional Czech clothing. The Czech attire is very colorful with red, blue, yellow, orange, green, white and black clothing. There were 3 songs of polkas played for the
King / Queen - Jake & Jessica Holland
 Czech & Then Some and Brave Combo. Free shuttle was available from Downtown, Hotels and to the 3 dance halls. Fine Czech food, such as Klobase and Sauerkraut, Dumplings, Kolaches, and other Czech pastries  were also available. Today was another fun filled day of dancing by young and old. This festival was enjoyed by people from Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota, South Dakota, Kansas, Colorado, Oklahoma and of course Texas. Malek’s Fishermen chartered bus left Ennis at 5:00 pm for Iowa. In visiting with those who were on the bus they said they had a great time at the Ennis, Texas, Czech Festival and look forward to visiting in the near future.

~~~Kathy Hulse     


A bus load of 47 people from Garner, Iowa, made it's way to Ennis, Texas, for the 46th Annual National Polka Festival. Everyone had a wonderful time at the festival…
June 1-3, 2012,

brought numerous polka dancing fans to the Amana Colonies Beckster Fest. This was the 10th Annual Beckster Fest. It was held at the Amana RV Park and Outdoor Convention Facility in Amana, Iowa. It is located in the NW corner of Hwys 151 & 220. There were 2 wooden dance floors in air conditioned buildings. The Ronneburg Restaurant served dinners and sandwiches all week-end. The food was great. There were also beverages of all types served. There were 8 bands that entertained for the week-end. On Friday the Festival started off at 6pm with Barefoot Becky and The Ivanhoe Dutchmen. They alternated with Craig Ebel & DyVerscaco til 11pm in the Pioneer Building. Leon Olson played at the Morton Center til 12 midnight. These bands were playing great. Everyone was having a great time dancing. There was even a 9 year old girl, Elizabeth, from Kansas City, dancing with her grandma. Elizabeth’s grandparents Were from Arizona. They had picked Elizabeth up in Kansas City, to take her to the festival . This was her 5th time she attended this polka festival. She was dancing well to

the polka, waltz and fox trot. Several People danced with her to show her and teach her the polka and waltz steps. On Saturday the dancing started at noon with Leon Olson and Craig Ebel & DyVersaco. The other bands who played were Malek’s Fishermen, David Austin Band, Mark Jirikovec and Gary’s Ridgeland Dutchmen. Mark Jirikovec finished the day of dancing at 11pm. These bands were super and entertained many polka dancers from Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Texas, Colorado, Kansas and Nebraska.
 On Sunday the day started with a polka mass with Gary’s Ridgeland Dutchmen. The music was so smooth. The band sounded super. What a great way to start a Sunday. The fest started at noon with Lyle Beaver, Gary’s Original Dutchmen and Mark Jirikovec. The great food provided by Ronneburg Restaurant was offered the entire week-end. The dancing continued with the Mark Jirikovec Orchestra til 6pm. It was a great week-end filled with talented musicians, great exercise and lots of social activity at the Beckster Fest at Amana, Iowa.

~~~ Kathy Hulse
“People have asked me why I chose to be a dancer. I did not choose. I was chosen to be a dancer, and with that, you live all your life. ”
― Martha Graham
People drove from miles around to attend this year's polka festival in the Amanas. A great thanks goes out to Becky & Terry and the many staff of volunteers that helped put on this event. This is one of the Midwest’s finest festivals and they have an outstanding lineup of entertainment. If you have never been to this festival you need to make plans for next year's event.
Terry Ard and daughter Andrea Ard enjoy the festival even though the work is hard…
Thursday, June 21st, started with Matt & the Dakota Dutchmen playing from 7-11 pm.  Matt has a 6 piece band that does a wonderful job.  The dance floor was full and everyone appeared to be having a good time.
Friday, June 22nd, there was music and dancing from 12 pm-11 pm.  The music started with Larry Rysavy and the Out-of-Town Czech’s.  This 6 piece band has members from Rochester, MN and the Lankin, ND area.  They have a great sound that gets everyone dancing.  The next band was the Cathy Erickson band from Middle River, MN.  Cathy has a 4 piece band that plays a very nice variety, and her daughter also plays in the band.  They do a beautiful job singing and harmonizing.  I believe Cathy has been playing for 38 years.  The 3rd band was Barefoot Becky and the Ivanhoe Dutchmen, from Mount Vernon, IA.  Becky brought a bus full of approximately 40 people.  This was Becky and the band’s first time playing at Stump Lake.  Becky had a 5 piece band that sounded top notch.  Saturday, June 23rd, there was a pancake, sausage, and egg breakfast that was prepared and served by the
Nelson Co. Historical Society, at the Pioneer Village, onsite.  The Pioneer Village has a collection of historical buildings and museums that one can walk around and visit. Saturday’s music and dancing was from 12 pm-11 pm. Barefoot Becky started off the day.  She sounded great and as peppy as ever.  The next band was the Wee Willie Band from Moorhead, MN.  Wee Willie had a 3 piece band and did a nice job with a variety of music played.  Wee Willie has many local followers that were there that enjoyed listening and dancing to this fine band.  The 3rd band was Larry Rysavy and the Out-of Town Czech’s.  They sure do a wonderful job, along with all the bands that played. This is a very nice, organized festival that brings back many dedicated listeners and dancers, year after year, from near and far.  If you have never been to this festival, it is worth checking it out.  It is always held the last full weekend in June.  Hope to see you at next year’s festival!

~~~ Tracy Price
The 14th Annual Stump Lake Polkafest was held June 21st-23rd, 2012, at the Stump Lake Pavilion in the beautiful Stump Lake Park and Campground.  Stump Lake is 12 miles south of Lakota, ND, on Hwy 1.  This polkafest is organized by Matt Hodek of rural Lankin, ND.  Matt is the leader of Matt & the Dakota Dutchmen, from ND.
The Pavilion has a large wooden dance floor that can accommodate approximately 400 people.  All the tables and chairs were full, with people that traveled from Canada, North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Kansas, Illinois, California, and possibly other states.  There was a cash bar and food served in the pavilion, and there is a café next to the pavilion.  There is plenty of camping space available, along with motels in the area.
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