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Best Music Festival 

PolkaPalooza

It's a sad but true music fact that most festivals are commercial orgies—from the time you buy your ticket (with service charges tacked on, of course) to the time you buy your last beer at the show. Not to mention that you usually have to sit through a dozen who-gives-a-crap bands before someone you like (or, hell, have even heard of) takes the stage. It's the lack of such hassles—and the presence of the Original Antrifttaler Musikanten, a 27-piece Deutsche band in traditional dress—that makes Joanie's Pizzeria's PolkaPalooza rock the block. Last October the restaurant roped off Russell Boulevard and set up folding tables, the better to accommodate the accordion-happy fest's pig roast, roasted corn and of course, German beer and wine. Concertgoers could be found performing impromptu beer-fueled jigs with their (or other people's) children as O.A.M. played time-honored polka favorites. The seats were free, the beer was cheap and talk about stage presence! That's more that can be said for pretty much any other festival out there, period.

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