Strike up the band and get ready to polka

32nd annual Midwest Polka Fest Fest coming to Dakota City

-Messenger photo by Britt Kudla
Mary and Dave Fevold of Humboldt attend the 31st annual Midwest Polka Festive in Dakota City.

DAKOTA CITY – The 32nd annual Midwest Polka Fest will be happening in Dakota City on Sept. 3 -4. The shows will have eight hours of music played by alternating bands on each day.

Three groups will be performing at this year’s fest. They are Julie Lee and Her Whiterose Band, the Zweifel Brothers, and Barefoot Becky and The Ivanhoe Dutchmen. These groups come from all over with Julie Lee being from North Dakota, the Zweifel Brothers coming from Kansas, and Barefoot Becky and The Ivanhoe Dutchmen being from Mount Vernon.

Julie Lee and Her Whiterose Band can consist of the duo of Julie Lee, who plays the saxophone, and her husband, Hugo, who plays the accordion, and they can add up to four other members depending on the show.

Barefoot Becky and The Ivanhoe Dutchmen are led by Becky Livermore, who sings and plays accordion. She has been playing accordion since she was 10 years old.

The Zweifel Brothers are Mike and Keith Zweifel and have been playing music since 1965.

-Messenger photo by Britt Kudla
LaRaine Bushman, of Churden, left, and Judie Cormanay, of Blairsburg,

Polka is a form of folk music that originates from Europe. Polka usually consists of brass and percussion instruments along with guitars and the accordion.

When asked about how this festival started, organizer Mary Mulligan said “Some of us were going out of town to enjoy polka fests elsewhere, like in Minnesota and Wisconsin. And so a group of about eight people got together and decided why don’t we have a polka fest in town?”

The Polka Fest started back in 1990 and ran until 2020 when the festival had to be canceled due to the pandemic. There was a Polka Fest last year, but it was limited to a single day event. Mulligan said that the crowd was smaller than normal last year, but that this year and the upcoming years will have larger crowds.

“I’ve been getting calls from all over every one of our surrounding states and as far away as California, Texas, Florida, and Michigan,” she said.

Mulligan said the peak in interest from all these people is because “they said that we have some really good bands.”

-Messenger photo by Britt Kudla
The Lean Olsen band plays at the 31st annual Midwest Polka Fest in Dakota City.

The shows will run from noon to 8 p.m. on both days. The tickets cost $15 for one day. The shows will be located at the VFW at 412 Main St., Dakota City, with food and drinks available.

If You Go:

What: 32nd annual Midwest Polka Fest

When: Sept. 3-4

Where: VFW Post, 412 Main St., Dakota City

-Messenger photo by Britt Kudla
Gene and Margo Hoffman dance during the 31st annual Midwest Polka Fest.

Cost: $15 per day


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