Texas-sized Birthday Bash Was a Blast!
More than 800 people jammed the KC Hall in Schulenburg on Sat., June 30 to help Texas Polka News celebrate its 30th year of publishing. It was reminiscent of the “Big 3 Dances” that used to be held during the Joe Patek era with reports of the hall being filled to the rafters with polka lovers – this time with twice the number of bands.
The birthday bash featured six polka bands – Das Ist Lustig, Czechaholics, Red Ravens, Ennis Czech Boys, Mark Halata & Texavia, and Chris Rybak. Due to crowd demand, the music started early at about 12:30 pm with Das Ist Lustig and didn’t stop until the In Heaven There Is No Beer sing-along with Texavia at 11 pm. Each band played a 90-minute set. As the bands were setting up,
Chris Rybak kept everyone dancing with his crowd-engaging, high-energy accordion playing. Mason Nesvadba joined in on tuba, and Valina gave the crowd a sample of her and Russ’ popular Das Ist Lustig stage show as they introduced some fun dances with plenty of audience participation.
Party goers feasted on Slovacek sausage, kolaches from Original Kountry Bakery in Schulenburg, and birthday cake from Original Kountry Bakery in Weimar. Kenneth Miksch, manager of the KC Hall and his team, along with TPN volunteers made sure everyone had plenty to eat and drink. Other sponsors included Shiner Beer and Texas Folklife.
The hall was decorated in red, white, and blue with touches of past issues of the paper used to create table runners, fans, and laminated pages on the bathroom stalls. The Cheers to 30 Years display chronicled the paper’s history from Julius Tupa’s first issue in 1987. A bucket raffle featured unique items such as a dance hall print from Texas Dance Hall Preservation, Shiner beer signs, handmade baby blankets, Rybak European Tours gift certificate, and three lifetime subscriptions to TPN. Congratulations to subscription winners Harry and Connie Schielack of Rockdale, Stanley and Betty Nemec of Belton, and Verlene Kuntschik of La Grange.
The crowd also had a chance to step outside and visit with members of the Space City Ts club as they checked out the Model Ts on display.
The TPN volunteer photographers and videographers were recognized for their great work, and winners of the subscription drive contest were announced.
Lots of happy music, fun, and fellowship made this a celebration that will long be remembered as we polka on through life.