1st Summit Bank PolkaFest 2023

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PolkaFest

Thunder in the Valley YouTube

Date: 
Friday, June 2, 2023 (All day) to Sunday, June 4, 2023 (All day)

2023's Sponsors:

 
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 23 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.
 
Sponsorship opportunities are available to area businesses and organizations. Contact Jayne Korenoski at 814-536-7993, ext. 102 for details, or email [email protected].  Visit Johnstown is also seeking ethnic food vendors and other vendors. Contact Nicole Waligora at 814-536-7993, ext. 104, or email [email protected]

Check out last years event in this recap video!

NO PETS are allowed inside PNG park 

PolkaFest Band Schedule

Event MC Special Guest Frank Powaski

Friday, June 2nd

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 3rd

1:30 PM - 3 PM: Rosie and the Jammers

3 PM - 4 PM: The Garrett Tatano Band

4 PM - 5 PM: The KOSMIX Band

5 PM - 6 PM: The Garrett Tatano Band

6 PM - 7 PM: The KOSMIX Band

7 PM - 8 PM: Don Wojtila Band with Special Guests The Wojtila Brothers Joe, Michael, and Dan

8 PM - 9 PM: Polka Family Band

9 PM - 10 PM: Don Wojtila Band with Special Guests The Wojtila Brothers Joe, Michael, and Dan

10 PM - 11 PM: Polka Family Band

 

Sunday, June 4th

12 PM - 1 PM: Polka Mass w/ Don Wojtila Band

1 PM - 2 PM: Don Wojtila Band with Special Guests The Wojtila Brothers Joe, Michael, and Dan

2 PM - 3 PM: The Boys

3 PM - 4 PM: Don Wojtila Band with Special Guests The Wojtila Brothers Joe, Michael, and Dan

4 PM - 5 PM: The Boys

*SUBJECT TO CHANGE

Meet the Bands!

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 McCloskey, the club has grown immensely popular in the Johnstown area. Joe and Bob are still playing with the Club 42 years later.  Since then, the Club has appeared at various picnics, festivals, and social events throughout the area.

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 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. This band is a high-energy, high-speed group with an insane amount of talent and polka expertise. They'll have you up out of your seat dancing to the "Pennsylvania Hills Polka" and many more of your favorites.

Rosie and the Jammers

When it comes to putting a tune to your dancing steps there's no better choice than Rosie and The Jammers. This upbeat five-piece act has been a staple at local events and festivals for twenty-five years and is known just as much for their great showmanship as they are for their talent and are always a crowd favorite. 

 

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 creates 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!

The KOSMIX Band

The KOSMIX is a band that is made up of a group of amazing young musicians along with International Polka Association Hall of Famer, Randy Koslosky.  If this band doesn’t bring a smile to your face, we’ll need to check you for a pulse… The Band Members are: Sandra Koslosky (22) – vocals, fiddle, guitar. Victoria Koslosky (17) – vocals, fiddle, ukulele. Emily Olszewski (20) – vocals, fiddle. Becca Olszewski (18) – vocals, sax. Matthew Olszewski (17) – trumpet. Phillip Olszewski (15) – vocals, trumpet. Stush Stetar (15) – drums. Randy Koslosky (young at heart – calendar age not disclosed) – vocals, accordion/bass.

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. This year, to celebrate 25 years of PolkaFest, Don is bringing along his brothers Joe, Michael, and Dan. It's sure to be a performance you won't want to miss!

The Boys

Founded in 1980, they played their signature style of polka music for over a decade.  By the time the group disbanded in 1990, The Boys had recorded five albums, received regional and national honors including the United States Polka Association's 1989 Favorite Band and 1989 Favorite Album awards, appeared in a major motion picture, and established themselves as one of the dominant forces in the polka industry. In 2010, Polka Hall of Famers Mike Matousek and Frank Liszka reunited with former bandmates Al Puwalski and Jeff Yash to bring back The Boys. With the addition of polka veterans Mike Evan and David Morris, The Boys re-established their presence in contemporary polka music.

Parking Map

 
Location: 
Peoples Natural Gas Park
90 Johns St.
Johnstown, PA 15901