The Thanksgiving Polka Party that is produced and organized by the Cleveland-style Polka Hall of Fame was held again this year at the beautiful downtown Marriott Hotel in Cleveland. It is a three day Polka Weekend - Thursday, Friday, Saturday - November 28 - 29 - 30, 2019, and the lineup of bands and musicians is very extensive - as usual. Your hosts and organizers this year are Denny Bucar, John Muhvic, Joe Valencic, and Ray Zalokar.
On Thursday (Thanksgiving Day) the music began with Aaron Dussing's Polka Revolution and continued with Walter Ostanek (Canada's Polka King) who was joined onstage by many of the best polka sidemen in the business.
The Friday lineup began with Linda Lee Brown of Frankenmuth who always welcomes people in the Marriott Lobby - a nice touch when we are getting our rooms and luggage organized. She was joined by Wild Bill on the violin and Ken Dowling on accordion. In the ballroom entertainment is by Fritz's Polka Band (this was one of Charlie's favorites), Klancnik and Friends, and the Don Wojtila Band. The Superior Room featured the Fairport Jammers, Harmonia Balkan Review, and Alex Meixner (a polkamaniac - and TV star). Saturday is special. The Polka Hall of Fame music awards show is the highlight of the weekend with awards in all music categories being presented. If you think of the academy awards in Hollywood - this is even better!! There was a polka mass with music by Kathy Hlad and friends at 4:30. And following this - more music in the ballroom with the KTB band (Kim, Terry and Brian). This band blew us all away at Slovenefest - so much talent. Then Lynn Marie and E3 (Eddie Rodick III) and that wonderful dance band the Frank Stanger Orchestra. And music in the Superior Room also with Fritz's Polka Band (from New York). And jam sessions and spontaneous breakouts of music throughout the hotel.
There is so much talent, so many Hall of Fame award winners, grammy winners and nominees in the music lineup that you will certainly get your money's worth. Hard to believe but the adult admission FOR ALL THREE DAYS is just $65.00; for those 18 and under admission is free. Of course if you can only make one day or one event prices vary but all is extremely reasonable - less than the price of dinner in a restaurant.
I organized a motorcoach again this year with pickups in London, Chatham, and Windsor. Our trip began on Friday morning and returned to Ontario Sunday. The price included music for all three days - in the ballroom, the Superior Room, and on the bus; deluxe motorcoach transportation complete with treats and refreshments; luxurious accommodations in the Marriott Hotel; admissions to all of the events; two fabulous dinners at restaurants (Seven Chefs Buffet at the Jack Casino and the Bavarian Buffet at Hofbrauhaus; shopping, jam sessions, and the Jack Entertainment Casino nearby. Music on the motorcoach was provided by those two wonderful musicians who are my bandmates and my brothers (by a different mother) - Dennis Uhlik and Andy Miinch.
The last stop of our trip was to the Bavarian Buffet at the Cleveland Hofbrauhaus where we were entertained by Nancy and Eric Noltkamper. They kindly let us use their sound system to play a few songs for the crowd. And then we danced and clapped along to their music. A fun time, as usual.
For more information on my motorcoach trips please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Seats are limited so please book early for the 2020 Thanksgiving Polka Party or any other motorcoach trips that I organize.
If you are interested in coming with me on the Polka Party Bus, please let me know as soon as possible as it fills up fast.
I am posting here some pictures taken by Joe Valencic at this year's Thanksgiving Polka Party. He took many great photos and you can find them on the Facebook Page for the National Cleveland-style Polka Hall of Fame.
Entertaining at the Croation Hall after dinner