Dust off the old lederhosen and head to The Z Hall this Sunday, October 3 for Oktoberfeast.
The event, which is both a buffet of European cuisines and honors the Michigan Polka Hall of Fame, is a celebration of culture and tradition, according to David Skjaerlund, owner of The Z Hall.
“(Michigan Polka Hall of Fame) is a non-profit entity that has been in existence for almost 40 years and is dedicated to the promotion of music, dance and polka culture,” he said. “But its primary function is also to highlight and recognize people who have made a significant contribution in their lifetime.”
Skjaerlund noted that in the 40 years of its existence, over 100 people have been inducted into the Hall of Fame and it is often recognized by the state legislature.
There is a strong polka culture in Michigan, he said, due to the different communities that have settled in the state over the years, and each European nation’s polka has a unique sound.
This year, four people are inducted into the Hall of Fame.
Dan Gury, originally from the Detroit subway, was one of the founders of the “Dyna Dukes” polka group. Some of his songs have become national hits, according to a press release.
Christof Michael Hedrich is originally from Rives Junction and has been part of various polka bands and has recorded several albums. His music has won numerous awards: his song “Dance All Night” won the song of the year 2017 and recording of the year award by the USPA, and he won the Polish-style CD. favorite of the year 2017, among others.
The third inductee is Kurt Schroeder, a drummer who has performed in “Herbie and the Boys” and “Good Times Orchestra”. He has been playing different kinds of polka for 58 years.
Last, but not least, is Carol Lash Budzyn from South Haven. She is a musician herself, plays the accordion, and has been teaching music in her community for over 30 years.
After the Hall of Fame ceremony ends, the Oktoberfeast begins. Dining options include buttery spaetzle, traditional sauerkraut, grilled bratwurst, Czech fried chicken, classic Oktoberfest beer and more.
“It’s just a great opportunity to sample some traditional European cuisine,” Skjaerlund said. “And then we have members in different recognized groups who are members of the Michigan Polka Hall of Fame who are going to provide live music… and then we try to do some dancing and even include a session to help newbies to. to learn.
Tickets for the event are 25, including food, he said. You can buy the tickets here.
“I think traditions are very important, and these traditions really need to be passed down from generation to generation,” he said. “And that’s really something to celebrate. And I think that’s the diversity of what we have, especially in America. We have an American tradition, but we have such an immigrant history here, and those traditions have been kept alive in this country through these communities. ”
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