Minnesota Polkafest 2006 (and the Polka Mass)

With apologies to our fans in northern Minnesota, I’m filing this post under “better late than never.” Last weekend was the 29th annual Polkafest in Chisolm, MN, and according to the Hibbert Daily Tribune writeup, there was plenty of music and dancing to go around. Among the polka providers at this year’s event were the Joey Tomsick Orchestra, the Steve Meisner Band, and, the one that intrigues me the most, Father Frank Perkovich’s Polka Mass.

For over 30 years, Father Perkovich has been celebrating his “polka mass” — a traditional Catholic mass, but with all the songs and hymns performed in the style of Slovenian and Croatian polka music. According to his site, he even did one for Pope John Paul II in 1983. (Not too surprising; I’m guessing that, being from Poland, the pope was no stranger to polka music.) Nevertheless, polka masses have stirred some spirited debate over their appropriateness in the church. Personally, I’d be at my church a lot more often if they had a regular polka mass…

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