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Polkafest 2024 Starts In:

1st Summit Bank PolkaFest 2024

When:

Friday, May 31, 2024

Sunday, June 2, 2024

Where:

Peoples Natural Gas Park

NO PETS are allowed inside Peoples Natural Gas Park

Times & Cost:

Friday, May 31st – 4 PM $5 Donation

Saturday, June 1st – 12:30 PM – $5 Donation

Sunday, June 2nd – 11 AM FREE

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PolkaFest was created in 1998 by “Polish Bill” Marano and his late wife Debbie, who pursued their dream of creating a world-class Polka festival in Johnstown. The Maranos’ knew that Johnstown’s ethnic heritage would make it the perfect setting for the festival. The Maranos’ partnered with the former Johnstown Business District Coalition to coordinate the festival in 1998 and 1999, which was held in multiple locations throughout downtown Johnstown.

Visit Johnstown, in coordination with the Maranos, assumed the operation and promotion of the festival in 2000. In 2001 the evening dances were moved to the Masonic Temple on Valley Pike, which was a perfect dancing venue with its large sprung wooden dance floor. The Masonic Temple remained the festival’s home until 2006 when the festival moved to Cambria City and was staged at multiple locations. In 2008, St. Mary’s became title sponsor and primary host site. PolkaFest features the country’s best bands, as well as local and regional favorites. The lineup regularly consists of bands and musicians who have been nominated for or who have won Grammy Awards. Johnstown’s PolkaFest is one of only a few to combine Polish and Slovenian styles at one festival, alternating sets, a format that has proven to be successful over 25 years. PolkaFest has also featured other Polka styles including German, Country, and even Rock, and continues to attract a younger audience.

PolkaFest’s daily admission is $5 Friday and Saturday, Sunday is Free. Minors accompanied by an adult are free.

PolkaFest is always the first weekend after Memorial Day. It attracts an estimated 10,000 people from multiple states and the region throughout the weekend, generating visitor spending throughout the community.

Special Guest Emcee Frank Powaski

Polka DJ, Frank Powaski, is returning as our emcee for the 26th annual 1st Summit Bank Johnstown PolkaFest! Frank began his career promoting polkas in 1968 and has been providing some of the best Polish, Slovenian, and Eastern-style polka music to his listeners.

He also hits the road during the summer months, doing live broadcasts of his radio show at local festivals. Frank’s motto for his weekly program is “Put that hop in your step!”

Visit Johnstown PA Polka DJ, Frank Powaski

PolkaFest Sponsors

1st Summit Bank Logo 100 years

Sponsorship opportunities are available to area businesses and organizations.

Contact Jayne Korenoski at 814-536-7993, ext. 102 for details, or email jaynek@visitjohnstownpa.com.

PolkaFest Vendors

  • Ace’s Banquets and Catering
  • Axolot A Love
  • Bath Fitter
  • B & L Wine Cellars
  • Cardinal Hollow Forge
  • Color Street
  • Cute as a Dumpling
  • Feight Family Concessions
  • Representative Frank Burns
  • Kaczor Ravioli Company
  • Keystone Art Soap
  • Kitchen Saver
  • LeafFilter Gutter Protection
  • Leaf Guard
  • Little Europe
  • Lizzie Wagon
  • Reeder’s Concessions
  • Renewal by Andersen
  • St. Nicholas Serbian Church
  • The Pie Shoppe
  • The Working Cow
  • Unique Custom Tumblers by Ashley
  • TK Frank’s Polka Records

Check back weekly for new additions to the vendor list!

Visit Johnstown is also seeking ethnic food vendors and other vendors. For information on how to become a vendor, contact Nicole Waligora at 814-536-7993, ext. 104, or email NicoleW@visitjohnstownpa.com.

Watch this performance of "Pennsylvania Hills" by Polka Family Band from The 25th Anniversary of PolkaFest!

1st Summit Bank Johnstown PolkaFest 2024 Band Schedule

Friday, May 31st

5 PM – 6 PM: Johnstown Button box
6 PM – 7 PM: John Stevens Polka Band
7 PM – 8 PM: Polka Family Band
8 PM – 9 PM: John Stevens Polka Band
9 PM – 10 PM: Polka Family Band

Saturday, June 1st

1:30 PM – 3 PM: Rosie and the Jammers
3 PM – 4 PM: Don Wojtila Band with special guests The Wojtila brothers Joe, Michael, and Dan
4 PM – 5 PM: Lenny Gomulka & Chicago Push
5 PM – 6 PM: Don Wojtila Band with special guests The Wojtila brothers Joe, Michael, and Dan
6 PM – 7 PM: Lenny Gomulka & Chicago Push
7 PM – 8 PM:  The Garrett Tatano Band
8 PM – 9 PM: Polka Family Band
9 PM – 10 PM: The Garrett Tatano Band
10 PM – 11 PM: Polka Family Band

Sunday, June 2nd

12 PM – 1 PM: Polka Mass – Don Wojtila Band
1 PM – 2 PM: Don Wojtila Band with special guests The Wojtila brothers Joe, Michael, and Dan
2 PM – 3 PM: Polka Country Musicians
3 PM – 4 PM: Don Wojtila Band with special guests The Wojtila brothers Joe, Michael, and Dan
4 PM – 5 PM: Polka Country Musicians

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Polkafest Band Bios

Lenny Gomulka & Chicago Push

Lenny Gomulka & Chicago Push

Lenny Gomulka & Chicago Push will be at 1st Summit Bank Johnstown PolkaFest this year! Lenny Gomulka & Chicago Push is a 12-Time Grammy Nominated band. Lenny Gomulka is a member of the International Polka Music Hall of Fame. He is the author of the Official polka song of Massachusetts. Lenny’s heritage inspired the formation of Chicago Push. His “Push” style music has evolved into the most progressive sound in polka music today. Since its beginning, Chicago Push has consistently received awards from organizations such as the International Polka Association, the United States Polka Association and more. The band, noted for their unique arrangements and originality, has mentored many aspiring bands and musicians.

Don Wojtila Band

Don Wojtila Band with special guests The Wojtila brothers Joe, Michael, and Dan

Don Wojtila Band has been recognized as one of Cleveland’s top polka and variety bands performing in Las Vegas, Branson, New York City, and on cruise ships. Formed in 1980 under the leadership of accordionist Don Wojtila, the band has recorded Goodtime Polkas, Country House Polka, and Polkas on Broadway. Returning this year along with Don are the Wojtila brothers Joe, Michael, and Dan who are sure to bring the house down with music old and new!

Polka Family Band

Polka Family Band

A PolkaFest favorite! The Band was originally formed in 1970 under the name “Los Taconazos,” but they were only playing Mexican style music. In 1979, the band switched over to Polka music and also changed their name to “Polka Family Band.” They have performed at Carnegie Hall, received four Grammy Award Nominations, and have appeared on several television programs.

John Stevens Polka Band

John Stevens Polka Band

John Stevens Polka Band was formed in January 1995. The young and energetic band released their first cassette “Doubleshot Preview” in March 1995. Then in 1996, the band released their first full recording “Come On Let’s Dance” on cassette & compact disc. This recording opened many doors for the band. In September 1997 releasing their 2nd recording “Everyone’s Having Fun”. This recording got the ball rolling once again for the band. The band currently has 18 CD releases.

Polka Country Musicians

Polka Country Musicians

The Polka Country Musicians play a version of the Chicago style polka music called “push.” Push polka bands typically feature double trumpets, accordion, concertina, bass, and drums. Over the years and as players in the band changed, including a change in leadership of the band to Wally, they have developed their own distinct sound, adopted a slightly slower tempo and incorporated influences from country music. When the band is playing in top form, audiences can be so captivated by the music they stop dancing to fully listen.

The Garrett Tatano Band

The Garrett Tatano Band

The Garrett Tatano Band is a young, high-energy group that specializes in Cleveland-style (Slovenian) polka music. Their drive and enthusiasm create an environment that is sure to have the crowd on their feet and dancing all night long! Their style pays tribute to the legends that paved the way for polka music while adding their own spin, making them a must-see group. If you’re looking for polka entertainment, look no further. The Garrett Tatano Band offers polka music for today and tomorrow – guaranteeing the future of polka music!

Rosie and the Jammers

Rosie and the Jammers

When it comes to putting a tune to the dancing steps there’s no better choice than Rosie and The Jammers. This upbeat six-piece act has been a staple at local events and festivals for twenty-seven (27) years and is known just as much for their great showmanship as their talent and is always a crowd favorite. Rosie and The Jammers bring high energy and a tireless dedication to preserving our ethnic music heritage along with playing music ranging from the big band era and timeless favorites such as country, soft rock, ballads and fun songs.

Johnstown Button Box

Johnstown Button Box

The Johnstown Button Box Club was organized in 1981 by a group of area musicians who shared a deep love for the Button Box as an ethnic musical instrument. Under the leadership of musical director Bob Sedei and Charter and then Club president Joe MCloskey, the club has grown immensely popular in the Johnstown area. Joe and Bob are still playing with the Club 41 years later. Since then, the Club has appeared at various picnics, festivals, and social events throughout the area.

Parking Map

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Handicap parking courtesy of Para-Coat Technologies!

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