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“Polka Fireworks” Turns 40 With A Very Happy Weekend
“Polka Fireworks” celebrated its 40th birthday this July with a beautiful, sunny (but not too hot) weekend.
The weekend got off to a great start with the poolside party hosted by DJ Kenny Olowin on Wednesday. Thursday brought a fun time starting the afternoon with DJ Kenny at the pool and the evening had us dancing with Ray Jay & The Carousels alternating with Lenny Gomulka & Chicago Push.
Friday started a new tradition with the great sounds of Tony Blazonczyk and New Phaze out by the pool. Everyone really enjoyed having live music to dance and swim to, though I didn’t see any synchronized swimming out there. The Teens and Tweens had a nice mixer to get to know eachother thanks to Randy Koslosky and his extended family keeping this going. Hopefully this keeps them coming back year after year. In the Mattorhorn, Steve & Adele Litwin hosted their 31st annual Concertina Jam. During the Jam, Steve was awarded the IPA Joe Jozwiak Achievement Award for 2014 – congratulations Steve. In the hall we had The Boys alternating with The Nu-Tones followed by Dennis Polisky & The Maestros Men alternating with John Gora & Gorale.
Saturday began with Big Dan’s awesome Pool Party featuring The Boys playing for us as people wandered in and out getting drinks. Frannie’s room above was having their own party with people hanging out on the balcony listening to The Boys. Later brought us Andy Fenus & The Treltones alternating with Dennis Polisky & The Maestros Men followed by The Knewz alternating with Lenny Gomulka & Chicago Push. A couple of young “old timers” stopped by on Saturday night – Ryan & Dee Dee Ogrodny surprised a lot of us by coming up from Nashville. For the few of you that don’t know – Ryan (now going by Ryan Joseph) plays fiddle for country superstar Alan Jackson.
Sunday started with a polka mass featuring Henny & The Versa J’s. Ryan & Dee Dee later joined The Versa J’s (the band they played with for many years) as they alternated with the Buffalo Concertina All-Stars and Jeff Mleczko’s Dynabrass.
What a great lineup and what a great way to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of what Eddie Blazonczyk & Zip Lubovinski started so many years ago.
I even got to see the fireworks this year – what a fun show they put on.
So now get ready to go to 7 Springs again for the annual Fall Polka Festival – October 24, 25 & 26 featuring more great polka bands. And of course, come back next summer July 1-5, 2015. Visit their website at www.fallpolkafestival.com and www.polkafireworks.com or call Tish at 708-594-5182 – Mon-Sat – 11 am – 6 pm.
Polka Dreams @ Sea’s “Polka Dreams All-Star Band” – An added bonus for me was that I had ALL the members of my “Polka Dreams All-Star Band” at 7 Springs. (Check out the picture on this page.) This band along with The Knewz and Polka County Musicians will be coming on my “Polka Dreams @ Sea” Polka Cruise sailing Jan. 31 – Feb. 7, 2015. Check out the details at www.polka-cruise.com or call me at 724-234-2033 (1-8pm any day) for more information. Join us for the polka cruise of YOUR dreams.
By Helga Leonard
In photos below:
Fran Russo, Dan Kwiatkowski, Estelle Gomulka, Terry Sabatini, Marcia Stroup,
Ed Ostry & Barb Finez
The Polka Dreams All-Star Band – Frankie Liszka, Eddie Siwiec, Jeff Mleczko, Mike Matousek, Dave Morris, Stacey Morris, & Rich Zebrowski. Missing is Joe Zalewski