Pulaski featured in polka documentary

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Pulaski Polka Days will be featured in a new Wisconsin Public Television documentary taking viewers inside the state’s vibrant polka culture.

“Polka!,” hosted by internationally known polka star Mollie Busta, best known as Mollie B., premiered on March 6 and will have an an encore broadcast at 7 p.m. Saturday on Wisconsin Public Television.

Wisconsin celebrates family, community and life with polka. Polka was designated the state dance in 1993.

Traveling statewide to festivals, music venues and celebrations where the polka community thrives and the rich tradition continues to grow, Busta uncovers how this lively dance arrived in Wisconsin, and why revelers young and old still love it, generations later.

In addition to Pulaski Polka Days, the documentary highlights the Event in Bevent, New Glarus’ Roger Bright Memorial Polka Fest, an Oktoberfest celebration in Madison, a polka wedding reception in Burlington, a polka mass at the Wisconsin State Polka Festival in Oconomowoc and other events across the state.

Musicians and bands from across Wisconsin, including Steve Meisner, Box On, The Polka Family Band, The Goodtime Dutchmen and The Jim Busta Band, share stories of how polka kindled marriages, of grandmas teaching the traditional steps to the grandchildren on special occasions, and families passing the love and lore to the next generation.

“I really enjoyed being a part of Polka!, because it’s a way I can bring polka to more people,” Busta said. “I hope people in the audience get to turn this on and have fond memories back to the 1960s, ‘70s or even earlier. Or those who are just starting to listen to polka music will be reminded what wonderful music this is that brings people together.

Wisconsin Public Television includes WHA-TV, Madison; WPNE-TV, Green Bay; WHRM-TV, Wausau; WLEF-TV, Park Falls; WHLA-TV, La Crosse; and WHWC-TV, Menomonie-Eau Claire.