Southwest Polka Party
In Las Vegas, Feb. 12-14
The Polka Party is held at the Orleans Casino Hotel over Valentine’s each year with dancing 10 hours on Tuesday and Wednesday, and 6 hours on Thursday. The dances are staged in two ballrooms operating simultaneously with a thousand attendees. In the Mardi Gras Ballroom (the largest room) the Rhythm Playboys, Danny Jerabek, and Julie Lee performed. They played great two-step polkas and waltzes with a little swing, filling the dance floor all three days. In the Esplanade Ballroom, Dick Zavodny, Leon Olsen, and the Alaska Polka Chips performed. We love Dick Zavodny’s Czech styling and Leon Olsen’s masterful concertina led rhythms. We hadn’t seen the Alaskan group since Marge Ford transformed it from the Button Boxers to the Polka Chips and wondered if the music was the same. Rest assured, the Alaskan crew continues to put out great button accordion music. A two hour jam session organized by Roman Possedi closed out the music in the Esplanade room on Tuesday and Wednesday. Pete Dunda did a masterful job in this session with Cleveland-style Slovenian music that really got the heart pumping (obviously, I’m biased).
Ed & Lois Halvorson, who have promoted this event for eons, turned over the reins to Julie Lee who will promote the event in 2014. Much thanks to Ed & Lois for many great years of polka dancing.