Tropicana Polkafest – Laughlin, NV
The Tropicana Hotel staged its second three-day January 10-12 in Laughlin, Nevada. Laughlin is at the southern end of Nevada, sitting on the Colorado River with Bullhead, Arizona directly on the other side of the river. It doesn’t have the glitz of Las Vegas nor the crowds – it’s more down home and earthy. The casino strip is a couple of blocks with a dozen or so casino hotels. For me, the serenity of the River really makes the place. Two great bands played at Laughlin – Polka Power California (Slovenian style) and the Veritones from Phoenix, Arizona (Polish style). The attendance was up 25% from the event last year with over 100 folk each day, which filled about half of the hall. The organizers were happy with the growth and plan to continue the event next year.
The music was terrific with both bands providing great energy. The dance was staged from 2 pm to 9 pm with dance lessons preceding and a buffet meal in the middle. The meal on Saturday was especially scrumptious – pork cutlets, pierogies, cabbage rolls, black forest cake, and more – prepared by a Bavarian chef. Each evening was capped with the traditional mosh pit celebration of towel waving and strutting. The Veritones closed out the event delighting the crowd with “Hot Dog” Stan Mardeusz on vocals and Dave Bonczkiewicz on horn and vocals, performing the Hot Dog Polka. Everyone was happy and exhausted at the end.