Dance Hall Preservation Art Contest Winners Announced

Fourteen Fayette County students accepted Texas Dance Hall Preservation’s challenge to create art depicting the county’s rich dance hall history. “They were all amazing entries,” TDHP President Deb Fleming said. “It was great to see dance hall history come alive through the eyes of these young, talented artists.”
      First place went to Allyson Hoffman, a junior at Fayetteville High School, for her colored pencil drawing of Sengelmann Hall. Second place went to Hector Aguilar, a sophomore at Round Top Carmine (RTC) High School, for his drawing of antique cars outside a dance hall. Third place went to Justin Hickman, a senior at RTC, for his drawing of a band playing at the Chicken Ranch Dance Hall layered on top of a Fayette County Record newspaper. Alyssa Hayden, a RTC junior, received honorable mention for her 3D representation of Sengelmann
      The art was displayed at the TDHP fundraiser on Nov. 12. Each contestant received a signed print of Cat Spring Agricultural Hall by Fayetteville artist Pat Johnson, and a Polka On! goodie bag from Texas Polka News and The four winners also received cash prizes and a Polka On! tote bag, along with a one-year subscription to the Texas Polka News.
      The winners shared why they entered the contest and their future plans.

I decided to enter the contest so that I could grow as an artist. I wanted to do Sengelmann Hall because of the detail in the architecture. I have been to many Fayette Co. dance halls, like the
SPJST hall in Fayetteville, Swiss Alp, and a few others. I think it’s important to preserve
the dance halls because it’s a part of our Texas history. Buildings like these are no longer constructed. I plan on pursuing a career in art.

I am new to Fayette County, so the art competition seemed like a good way to learn about the history of the area. I have never been to a dance hall in Fayette County, but after researching
them I want to go and hear some good music! Preservation of the dance halls is very important because it is the same as preserving the culture and the heritage of the people here.

I entered the competition because I love living in Fayette County and the dance halls are a big part of growing up here. I have been to just about every dance hall in Fayette County. I really enjoy dancing and listening to good Texas country music. Maintaining the dance halls in Fayette County is important because it is a major piece of the culture and history of this area. I would like to attend TSTC after high school to become a diesel mechanic.

ALYSSA HAYDEN, Honorable Mention
I entered the dance hall competition because I admire antiques and history. This gave me a chance to express my appreciation on a larger scale. My piece allowed me to create a representation of Sengelmann Hall without using conventional drawing tools. I have been to Zapp Hall, RoundTop Rifle Hall, Carmine Hall, and the Round Up Hall! Preservation of the dance halls is important because it gives people a glimpse at how things used to be. My goal is to major in International Business and Marketing.

Texas Polka News Launches Subscription Drive

By Theresa Cernoch Parker, Publisher & Bohemian Princess

Texas Polka News will mark its 30th anniversary in 2018. To celebrate, we’re launching a drive to reach 3,000 subscribers. Sure, we want more people reading The News, but we also want to give back to say thanks for supporting the newspaper, polka, and Texas music/ethnic heritage.

Here’s how it works: For every new subscription or renewal from now through January 2018, TPN will donate $5 of the subscription price to a dance club or music/heritage organization of your choice. Not only will your group benefit from the donated subscription money, $3,000 in prizes will be awarded in two categories in June 2018.

Category one awards $1,000 to the organization that turned in the most subscriptions/
renewals; $500 to second place.

Category two awards $500 to the dance club (50 members or less) that turned in the most subscriptions/renewals; $250 for second place; $500 to the dance club (51 members
or more); $250 for second place.

Examples of dance clubs are Polka Lovers Klub of America, Texas Heritage Music & Dance Club, Swiss Alp Dance Club, Cajun French Music Association, Sealy Dance Club, Wallis Dance Club, DaCosta Western Dance Club, and German/Czech/Polish performance groups, such as high
school clubs, Wawel Polish dance group, Keine Kunst dance group.

Examples of organizations are Polka Lovers Club of Texas Museum, Texas Polka Music Museum, and other heritage museums, Texas Czech Heritage & Cultural Center, PolkaWorks, Texas Folklife, Texas Dance Hall Preservation, South Texas Czech Heritage Society, German-
Texan Heritage Society, Bluebonnet Opry and other oprys, and libraries.

We will be distributing campaign flyers and order forms to groups through September. Flyers and forms can also be downloaded from

Questions? Contact Theresa Parker at 281-836-6362 or



Polkabeat Buys Texas Polka News; Publishing to Resume in September

Polkabeat Inc. has purchased the Texas Polka News.  The transaction was completed on July 26 and the first issue under the new publisher, Theresa Cernoch Parker, is expected in September. 

The newspaper was started 26 years ago by musician and polka promoter Julius Tupa of Houston as a way to provide dance enthusiasts with a monthly schedule of events and the latest news of the Texas music scene.

When Julius Tupa passed away in 2002, his friend, John Rivard, became the editor of the newspaper with Tupa’s wife, Marie, at the publishing helm.  The monthly newspaper has grown to have almost 2,000 readers, not only in Texas, but across the country. 

Theresa Parker, Gary E. McKee and Marie Tupa toast the sale of the Texas Polka News with Shiner beer and kolaches.

Theresa Parker, Gary E. McKee and Marie Tupa toast the sale of the Texas Polka News with Shiner beer and kolaches.

“I am happy to announce the sale of the paper and see Julius’ legacy live on,” said Marie Tupa.   “I can’t thank John enough for his dedication and friendship over the years. And I can’t think of a more fitting person to take the publication to the next level than Theresa.  She grew up around polka and continues to promote the music, bands and dance halls through her website.”

Cernoch Parker founded in 2010 to honor the memory of another polka lover, her father, Willie Cernoch, originally from Dubina, Texas.  The website provides monthly listings of dances and festivals, as well as news, photos and videos from events. The site also has a Polka On! store featuring polka apparel, accessories, gifts and CDs/DVDs.  More than 1,200 subscribers receive a weekly e-newsletter featuring the weekend lineup of events in Texas. 

“I know Julius and my dad are looking down on us with a smile. The two of them were good friends who thought polka was the best music genre ever.  The Tupas and John have provided a wonderful service to Texas music fans over the years and I am honored to be given the opportunity to continue in their footsteps,” Cernoch Parker said. 

Cernoch Parker is also pleased to announce that Gary E. McKee of Fayetteville, Texas, will serve as editor of the paper. “Gary’s photojournalism and writing skills have been crucial to the success of  I look forward to working with him as we help readers of Texas Polka News polka on.”

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