The Public Eye

printed 01/21/2022

No offense to Polkamotion, but I like the idea of Sunfest taking place in October more than I did the polka party that use to occupy those dates on the calendar a couple of decades back.

For those who don’t remember the annual accordion-fest at the Ocean City convention center, it was a gathering of crazy, wild-in-the-streets polka fans.

To be sure, they rolled out the barrel and had a barrel of fun, shouting to anyone within earshot, “I’ll polka you here, I’ll polka you there, I’ll polka you everywhere, my little beetle. Ha-ha-ha-ha!”

Things got so bad with people polka-ing in the streets at high rates of speed that resort officials were forced to establish “No-Polka Zones” with enhanced enforcement, which consisted of police cars blaring “The Greatest Waltzes of All Time” as counter-programming to the Eastern-style, “Uh one, an’a two” variety of what began as a Czech folk dance before the Polish-Americans appropriated their culture and made it their own.

(Attempts to establish other polka styles, incidentally, did not work out, as Heavy Metal Polka, Grunge Polka and Punk Polka failed to catch on with the masses).

Meanwhile, police records from that period show numberous arrests of individuals for carrying concealed accordions without a permit, along with the occasional charge filed for possession of an illegal spring-assisted accordion fancied by polka outlaws.

It was a trying time.

Except, of course, that none of the above happened, and that the real Polkamotion by the Ocean was all good, clean fun (so they keep saying) held entirely indoors at the convention center in October just about the same time the Public Works Department was engaged in rolling up the streets.

For those of us driving on Coastal Highway back then, the appearance of “Polkamotion” on the convention center marquee meant that it was time to pack the freezer with the pierogies and kielbasa because this town was headed into five long months of zero activity.

As it happened, Polkamotion danced out of Ocean City in 2004 and into the Rehoboth Beach Convention Center, where it continues to lay down some mean accordion tunes in the warmer, friendlier climate of mid-September.

In the meantime, Sunfest will move into what once was Polkamotion’s schedule of October days, giving us one last chance to buy something on a stick to put in the garden, and to consume enough fried food to guarantee a steady rise in the stock price of the companies that produce Crestor, Lipitor, Mevacor and other cholesterol-controlling medications.

Seriously, I do like polka music because it’s so enthusiastic. In fact, you’ll never see a sad polka dancer, unless, of course, he or she is arrested for dancing in the streets and blocking traffic.

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