Post Eagle Newspaper


Jun 12, 2024

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Southwest Polka Party In Las Vegas

Don Haderle leads conga line in room party

The 23rd annual Southwest Polka Party was held in Las Vegas at the Orleans Hotel Casino February 11-13. Bands played in two ballrooms. The Mardi Gras Ballroom is the larger of the two with capacity for over 800 people offering a Master dance floor. Ray Sands, Julie Lee, and the Softones rotated from 1pm to 10pm Tuesday and Wednesday with a shorter program on Thursday. The Esplanade Ballroom holds several hundred people. The Alaska Polka Chips and Barefoot Becky rotated on the program with a jam session setup from 5-7 pm Tuesday and Wednesday.   Our buddy, Roman Possedi, emceed the event. Roman was Mr. Chicago in Cleveland-style polka music for six decades. He has resided in Las Vegas for over a decade and does a masterful job introducing the talent.   Ed & Lois Halvorsen, who originated the Southwest Polka Party, retired and handed it off to Julie Lee who kept the same format mixing in a few new bands and promises to keep it fresh with some new bands each year. Julie did a great job organizing the event and performing. The polka music was soft tempo with a lot of two-steps, an occasional circle Schottisch, and other mixers which the crowd loves. The dance floors were well occupied without being crowded.   It’s aptly called a party. We see people from across the country that we haven’t seen since the party the prior year. It’s as much a time to socialize as it is to dance. The party flows out of the venue into hotel rooms. A few doors down the hall from us a group was having a champagne breakfast party on Wednesday. We (Mary Saber, Phyllis Seibert, Gail, & I) had a jam-packed room party on Wednesday where Pete Dundas, Danny Fitterer, and Potsy Jenovic played heart throbbing Slovenian music. It’s a happening – music, dance, dine, gamble, and gambol!