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Polka attracts young, old at Riverhead fair

Farmingville's Kim Rubinstein and daughter Lindsay, 10, enjoy

Farmingville's Kim Rubinstein and daughter Lindsay, 10, enjoy the Saturday night dance, part of the Polish Town USA Street Fair and Polka Festival. (Aug. 20, 2011) Photo Credit: Ursula Moore

Riverhead got its polka groove on Saturday night during a dance festival at Polonaise Park, part of the weekend’s Polish Town 2011 Street Fair.

Mixing a little bit of country in with old-time polka beats were the Tony Blazoncycyk New Phaze Band and John Gora. According to Gora, polka music appeals to all ages and is easy to learn.

“There is no generation gap with polka music. A 3-year-old can dance with a 90-year-old. It’s easy dancing and a lot of fun,” he said.

Riverhead’s Frank and Carol McKay have attended the festival and dance every year since the inception in 1975.

“Polka music is a lively type of music,” Frank said. “I had a band named the Polka Chips. We would perform right in the street at the festival. I played the trumpet,” he said.

Carol added, “Polka music makes you want to get up and dance. It’s happy music. Our grandparents came from Poland and we keep up all the Polish traditions from the foods to celebrating the holidays to polka dancing.”

Making the event a family affair, the McKays came to the dance festival with their children and grandchildren.

Granddaughter Elizabeth Clark, 11, of Greenport, admits being attracted to the upbeat polka tunes.

“I really like the rhythm of polka music,” she said. “It’s fun.”
 

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