Polka fest coming to Cranberry

August 30, 2021 Cranberry Living

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CRANBERRY TWP — The International Polka Association's annual polka festivities are still planned for Friday through Sept. 5.

And two hotels have sold out of the IPA's blocks of rooms.

For three days this weekend, polka lovers will dance and mingle at the DoubleTree by Hilton on Sheraton Drive in Marshall Township during the 53rd Annual International Polka Festival, and on Thursday will attend the IPA's kickoff polka party.

IPA's kickoff party, scheduled for 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. Thursday at the Cranberry Elks Lodge, will raise funds for the local Elks and feature the BurghBoys, a group of Western Pennsylvania polka musicians.

During the other three days of the festival, dancers will get on to the beat until early in the morning, with music scheduled until 1 a.m. Saturday and Sunday and 1:30 a.m. Monday. A welcome party will start off the actual festival Friday afternoon, and from 6 p.m. to 1 a.m. dancers can take the floor to the music of Lenny Gomulka, a member of the International Polka Music Hall of Fame, having written the official polka of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

On Saturday, attendees will have a pool party before IPA Tribute Band, Klancnik and Friends and Polka Family Band play their tunes, and on Sunday they will be treated to a morning polka Mass before the afternoon features a handful of polka musicians including Michael Costa and The Beat and Ray Jay and the Carousels.

Also on Saturday will be the 52nd annual IPA Polka Music Hall of Fame and Music Awards Banquet.

Chris Bogdon, member of IPA Polkas' board of directors and a Western Pennsylvania native, said the event is likely to have a great reception, adding he's excited the festival will bring a number of people to Cranberry Township.

“The good news is the entire DoubleTree is sold out and our backup hotel is also sold out,” Bogdon wrote in an email. “There have been a few cancellations due to COVID and the Canadian border being closed, but so far we are really excited at the reception.”

Tickets for the Thursday kickoff party are $10, and can be obtained by contacting Bogdon at 412-260-9725 or chris@bogdonfamily.com. Admission to the festival is $20 for Friday and $25 each for Saturday and Sunday, although a $60 three-day pass can be purchased at the door Friday.

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Alex J. Weidenhof

Alex J. Weidenhof