HJ/EDJune 5, 2006

Ninth annual area polka festival June 8-10

By Dave Cox
Staff Writer

Dancers from as far away as Texas and Arizona will arrive in Hutchinson soon for the ninth annual McLeod County Polka Festival.

Organizers Jake Bandemer and Audrey Litzau of Lester Prairie are gearing up for the event Thursday - Saturday, June 8-10 at the McLeod County Fairgrounds in Hutchinson.

“There is a 36-by-88 foot wooden dance floor, and it is always full,” Litzau commented.

“If you don’t know how to dance, people will teach you how to dance,” she added.

The event draws people from Minnesota, Wisconsin, the Dakotas, Iowa, and as far away as Nebraska, Arizona, Texas, and Illinois, according to Litzau.

“We have averaged from 1,250 to 1,500 people over the three days,” she said.

Some people come to hear specific bands.

Wee Willie and the Top Notchmen will alternate from 6 p.m. to midnight Thursday, June 8.

The Top Notchmen and The Musical Brass will alternate from 4 p.m. to midnight Friday.

The music on Saturday will start with a jam session at noon.

The Top Notchmen and The Musical Brass will alternate from noon to 6 p.m.; and from 6 p.m. to midnight, two bands that are new to the festival, The Corey Miller Tyme Band from Wisconsin, and the Odell Braten Band from North Dakota will alternate.

Food and beverages, including a full bar, will be provided by Hutchinson American Legion Post 96, Litzau said.

Tickets for the event are available only at the door.

A three-day pass is available for $30 Thursday. Single-day passes are $10 on Thursday, and $12 on Friday and Saturday.

There is plenty of parking, and room for camping for an additional charge.

“We usually have at least 30 motor homes, and we have had as many as 60,” Litzau commented.

In addition to the music and dancing, the event is a chance to enjoy the company of, and visit with friends, according to Litzau.

“Everyone is happy and has a good time,” she said.

For tickets and camping information, call Bandemer or Litzau at (320) 395-2093.

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