Get a Room

At Polka Fest '04

Do you usually spend Thanksgiving Friday sitting around on your ass, downing pint glasses of giblet gravy? Such pastimes are admirable and time-honored, but consider an alternative this year: Dance the polka all damn day. If you're like many St. Louisans, you've noticed people of all ages and shapes dancing the polka in bars, in clubs and on street corners everywhere around town, but you've been a bit hesitant to join in. Put aside your apprehension. Polka has arrived. It is the thing to do in St. Louis.

When Polkamania took hold of Europe in the nineteenth century, French dance master Henri Cellarius wrote in 1847 in The Drawing-Room Dances, "By [the polka's] easy, graceful movement, the nature of its step which readily accommodates itself to every fancy of the dancer, the character of its airs inspired for the most part by so happy a musical feeling, it is sure to maintain its place in the ballroom...."

The polka craze that's recently swept over our town proves the style's remaining popularity, and you'll see it come to a frothy head at the St. Louis Metro Polka Club's fifteenth annual Thanksgiving Weekend Polka Festival. St. Louis' illustrious cultural celebration unites polka lovers from around the world at the Marriott Pavilion hotel (One Broadway) in a big bang of accordions and half-steppin' fury from noon to midnight on Friday and Saturday (November 26 and 27), and then from noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday, November 28. Adult admission is $14 the first two days and $6 on Sunday, but you'll probably want to get full weekend passes for $30 each. Kids twelve and younger get in free; thirteen- to eighteen-year-olds pay $5. If Saturday night's bohemian debauchery turns sinful, you can avoid damnation by attending the polka mass on Sunday at 10:30 a.m. Additional information and tickets can be had by calling 314-846-8906. -- John Goddard

If you don't polka, you're not really living.
Dan Zettwoch
If you don't polka, you're not really living.

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