News: Willard - 40th Annual Polkafest Success (2014)

Contact: Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon
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----Source: Clark County Press (Neillsville, Clark Co., WI) 7/09/2014

40th Annual Willard Polkafest is Huge Success (2014)

The 40th annual Willard Polkafest was held June 20, 21 and 22 at the Willard Community Center. Seven different bands performed at the event, which was another well-attended success. Contributed photo

By Dee Zimmerman

Started 40 years ago by a group of “Old-tyme Dance” enthusiasts in the Willard community, this year’s Polkafest was another huge success thanks to those people who have worked diligently to keep the annual event going.

Their first Polkafest was held on a blacktopped side street in Willard, not an ideal surface for dancing. Later, they built a wooden floor in a sheltered structure.

The floor was raised a few inches above its foundation to allow some give when being danced on, leaving less stress on the dancers’ knees and legs. A well-maintained floor and bands playing with a good beat is the right combination for a full afternoon of dancing.

The 40th annual Willard Polkafest was held June 20, 21 and 22. Not only people within Central Wisconsin attended the successful event, but it drew many from out of state as well.

There were dancers from Texas, Missouri, Oregon, Tri-Cities, Washington, Upper Michigan, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, Minnesota, South Dakota and Manitoba, Canada. They were able to find Willard and reported having a good time dancing in the relaxing rural setting. Many folks said they appreciated the services provided at the festival grounds as well as in the surrounding community.

I visited with a couple from Springfield, MO. I told them we are able to go to a Polkafest somewhere in Wisconsin every weekend in the summer.

The gentleman‘s reply was, “We are not that fortunate, as we have to travel to dance to music such as you have here. We plan to be back next year.”




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