35th Annual International Polka Fest Kicks Off

By KBJR News 1

June 7, 2013 Updated Jun 7, 2013 at 6:08 PM CST

Carlton, MN (NNCNOW.com) --- The name Chmielewski has been synonymous with polka music for more than 130 years and this year six generations of Chmielewski's are taking the stage at the International Polka Festival at Black Bear casino.

"Welcome to Chmielewski Funtime with Florian Chmielewski."

For more than sixty years former State Senator Florian Chmielewski has been entertaining fans in Chmielewski Funtime polka group and this year is no different.

"I'm Florian Chmielewski and I've been playing now for sixty eight years."

Along with his brother, son and grandsons in tow, Florian and the six generation band are still getting polka fans to their feet.

"We're hot on the trail of keeping polka as number one fun dance of all America," said Florian Chmielewski, band leader.

This weekend the group along with a dozen polka acts from the around the country are bringing the polka party back to Black Bear Casino for a toe tapping time.

"It's fun for the kids, we bring them along they like to imitate us do what we do," Florian Chmielewski Jr., band member.

As fans collide in Carlton for another weekend of polka fun, the Chmielwski's hope their passion for polka will continue to bring smiles to polka enthusiasts for another six generations.

"We're like musical therapists, we're just making people happy and realize that America, fun-time music and polka is number one," said
Chmielewski.

Organizers say tickets are still available for the festival which runs through Sunday at the Black Bear Event Center in Carlton.