Polka News: Wurstfest Wrap

Congrats to Polka Contest Winners: Lee Roy and Gwen Petersen of Plantersville took first place, Nick and Shirley Macik of Austin came in second and David and Chelsea Smith of New Braunfels took third place at the 2012 Wurstfest. Herb Skoog, Director of Wurst Relations, says attendance looks like another record. "We had a great Wurstfest this year with attendance and sales up for each day, which is wonderful when you consider that 2011 was a very great year. It will be some time before we have the final figures but from all I've heard everyone had a great time and are looking forward to next year when 'Salute to Sausage' will be from November 1 - 10, 2013." Herb says this was his last Wurstfest as Director of Wurst Relations, a post he has held since the salute to sausage began in 1961. I wish you the best on your retirement and thanks for all the great work in promoting this one-of-a-kind event!

Roll Out the Scholarships: On November 8, polka maven Alex Meixner presented a $2,000 donation to benefit the Wurstfest Association Scholarship Trust. The proceeds were generated by a portion of the sales from Meixner's wildly popular $5 Wurstfest Music Sampler, "Stand and Sing Ein Prosit". According to Meixner, "Amidst all of the fun of the festival, it's great to be able to do something positive for the community and help students get access to higher education in German language, culture and music."

Polka News: Wurst Waltzers, Pre-Turkey Day Polka Party, Los Kolaches & 50-Cent Pearl Beer & More!

Wurst Waltzers: Congrats to the winners of the Waltz Contest at Wurstfest. First place went to Pat & Doris Mollenhauer from New Braunfels. Second place to David and Diane Liska of Ennis. Third place to Gwen and Lee Roy Petersen of Plantserville. Check out more Wurstfest photos. Pre-Turkey Day Polka Party: If it’s Thanksgiving, it’s time for the Praha Brothers annual Thanksgiving eve party at Sefcik Hall in Seaton. Dance from 8 to midnight to ring in the 2012 holiday season.

Los Kolaches in Pearl City: The 10th Annual Night in Old Pearl City will be held Saturday, November 17 at Turner Hall in Yoakum. Los Kolaches will provide the music. Band leader Howard Gloor describes the band as South-Central Texas Heritage music. “We play a mix of Mexican, shaken with Czech, with a dash of rhythm and blues and a sprinkle of country, rock and soul. But of course, the main ingredients are amore and you,” he says. Sounds great! You’re invited to join the polkabeat table for a night of dinner, dancing and 50-cent Pearl beer. Woo hoo! Send me an email theresa@polkabeat.com and you’re in!

Pre-Pearl City Party: Join the polkabeat gang for a 3 PM tour of the Shiner Brewery on Friday, November 16. Then head over to Antiques, Art & Beer for happy hour with polkabeat and Chris Rybak. This will get you warmed up for Night in Old Pearl City on the 17th. It’s shaping up to be a beer weekend! Friday at Shiner Brewery, then AA&B, which has 170 beer brands and NIOPC, featuring 50-cent Pearl beer. Polka on!

On a Sad Polka Note: Jerry Haisler reports that this Saturday’s dance at Geneva Hall in Waco, will be the Melody Five's last at this great dancing venue. “It has a great dance floor and spacious accommodations, but I’m sorry to say this will be our last booking there. Unfortunately the crowds for all their dances have been poor and the hall is really struggling. It is a great venue that we have played at since 1966. Hoping that live entertainment can continue there. We will be considering other alternatives in the Waco area,” Jerry says. Sigh.

Polka News: Wurst Report, Polka Jack, La Grange Daytripping, Czech Cultural Weekend

Wurst Report: Alex Meixner and his three-ring circus are psyched and ready to polka their brains out at Wurstfest. Alex tells polkabeat about the special musicians who will be joining him this year. “For the opening weekend only (Fri-Sat-Sun) I will have a special guest with the band—Michael Bridge. He is a 19-year-old Canadian National Champion Accordionist and a very energetic and virtuoso performer. Great kid too. Also, for the whole run (the Meixner band appears Friday through Thursday, Nov. 2-8), the horn man in the band will be Hank Guzevich, the leader of the four-time Grammy nominated Polka Family Band. He is widely considered to be one of the greatest trumpet players ever to play in an American polka band and will be featured on trumpet, sax, clarinet, guitar and vocals. As always, Michael Kramar from Sacramento, California, will be on accordion, button box, trumpet, baritone horn, bass, banjo, guitar and vocals, and Ed Klancnik from Nashville will be supplying the big beat of the band. We’re all looking forward to entertaining our Texas fans!” Mollie B and Ted Lange are also looking forward to entertaining Texas fans. Joining them with their Squeezebox band this year are Dana Lindblad on drums, Al Piatowski on accordion and special guest Jim Busta (Mollie’s dad) on concertina. Squeezebox will be performing Nov. 2-4, then Mollie B and Ted head to Branson to prepare for their Christmas special, Nov. 10-12. Check out Wurstfest’s full line up of bands and times.

Great story in the San Antonio Express about the Opas who keep the Wurstfest running smoothly each year.

More Dancers at Mollie B Christmas Special: Mollie B tells polkabeat that this year’s Christmas Special will feature a few more dancers, including a talented four-year-old who goes by the name “Polka Jack.” Also new this year, is a children’s chorus that Mollie says is sure to bring smiles to the audience. “I am happy to say all those performing in the special are active polka performers and dancers,” she says.

“Just like last year, the 2012 special includes plenty of songs to sing along, as well as to reflect on the true meaning of Christmas. Santa is also making a trip from the North Pole again, still tootin’ on his tuba.” Read more about the lineup of performers. RFD-TV reports that 17 buses are coming in for the show from Iowa, Texas, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan and Ohio. Tickets are still available for the Sunday, Nov. 11 show at 2 PM and Monday, Nov. 12 show at 7:30 PM. Call 417-332-2344 for more info.

Great story about Mollie and Ted in the Sentinel Tribune of Bowling Green, Ohio.

Daytripping in La Grange: The Texas Czech Heritage and Cultural Center was wonderfully represented on television show The Daytripper, an informational travel series that airs on KLRN Austin. Congratulations to the center and its very own stars Janis Hrncir and Bea Patek, who were interviewed for the piece. BTW: the background music is by the Czechaholics band. The show debuted Oct. 25, and can be seen online. Czech it out!

Czech Cultural Weekend at TCHCC: Hear a lecture on what Christmas is like in Czech Republic and Slovakia, make your own tree ornaments and learn the art of egg decorating from Daniela Sipkova Mahoney, who will also be signing her latest book on the subject. All takes place this weekend Nov. 2-4 at the Texas Czech Heritage and Cultural Center. Find out more.

Polka News: New CD; Band Added to Oktoberfest Lineup; New Radio Show & More

Oktoberfest Scoop Ennis Czech Boys are in the lineup in Fredericksburg this weekend. Be among the first to buy their new CD You Have the Right to Polka! You can also order online. It’s an impressive lineup for the 32nd annual fest with 24 bands (at least that’s how many I counted). There’s always room for one more! Thomas Durnin with the Czech Melody Masters band and host/producer of Czech Melody Time on KOOP 91.7FM of the Czech Melody Masters told polkabeat they have been signed on to close out the fest from 4-6 PM on Sunday.

Festival Coordinator Debbie Farquhar says you’ll also want to check out what's new at the fest this year. "One is Strassen Zelt (street tent) located on Adams and will seat over 200 people. Strassen Zelt will have Oktoberfest souvenirs, Paulaner beer, wurst and cheese, a photo booth, German Schuhplattler performances on Saturday and Sunday and our 3rd Annual 42 tournament on Sunday," Debbie says. Prost y'all!

New Texas Czech Polka Show Danny Zapletal now has a Texas Czech Polka Hour to complement his Czech Polka Show broadcast on Saturdays from 1 to 2 PM at WRJQ. The new Texas Czech Polka Hour follows from 2 to 3 PM. It was bound to happen. There is just too much good Texas polka music that deserves its own hour!

Congrats Gold ’N Crisp & the Plumber in the Family Congratulations to Sidney and Emily Cernoch and Phyllis Cernoch Chavarria on the 40th anniversary of the Gold ’N Crisp in La Grange. Uncle Sidney says he remembers their first customer, a young lady on her way to start college at UT. They tried contacting her, but have since lost touch. I’ve always thought it was the best fried chicken in Texas and then lo and behold the Best of Fayette County Awards are announced and GNC is chosen for best hamburger. Wow! Best chicken AND burgers. Also congrats to cousin Daniel, his wife, Rose, and everyone at Cernoch Plumbing, voted Best Plumber in Fayette County.

Great Idea The hardest working man in polka, Alex Meixner, is always thinking. His latest brilliant idea was to record Stand and Sing Ein Prosit, an ep (a short CD with only 6 songs) with proceeds going to the Wurstfest Scholarship Trust. "I feel it’s very important to support the scholarship so more young people will have the opportunity to study and continue the traditions of German culture, music and language here in the U.S. Buy yours today for only $5 and support the promotion of polka and education at the same time!

Speaking of Wursfest It will be here soon. Wurst Director Herb Skoog says the Wurstfest tickets are in the mail. Watch for your chance to win them in the Polkabeat Weekend Lineup newsletter. New this year, Herb says, is an all-girl band from Munich. Das ist wunderbar! Check out the schedule of events.

Just Added Jerry Haisler told polkabeat that he, Alfred Vrazel and their friends will jam on the patio at Ratibor Country Grill in Temple this Saturday, October 6 from 7-10 PM. Polka on!

Nearing a Sellout Vernell Foyt at SPJST Lodge 88 told polkabeat that she has only three tables remaining for the Red Ravens dance on Saturday, October 13. Contact the lodge and make your reservation today!