Polka Party at Musikfest 2006

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Most people probably don’t think of Bethlehem, PA, as a musical mecca, but for 10 days every August, the town is home to one of the biggest music festivals in the world: Musikfest. More than one million people come to Musikfest to listen to over 300 performers on 13 different stages playing in nearly every musical style imaginable.

Thanks to the area’s German heritage, the polka has always been at the heart of Musikfest; though there was some controversy last year when organizers allowed non-polka theme nights at the Festplatz (the main Musikfest polka venue). Nevertheless, the accordion is well represented at this year’s Musikfest, with performances from Jimmy Sturr, Steve Meisner, C.J. Chenier, Oriek, Big Lou’s Polka Casserole, the Al Meixner Trio, and many more.

If you want to follow Musikfest from afar, try some of these links:

  • The official Musikfest site has everything you need to know — performer bios, event schedule, photos, and an inline music player with tunes from most of the acts playing this year’s ‘Fest.
  • You’ve got to love a festival that’s so big that there are two blogs devoted to covering it. Mergedigital’s Musikfest blog and the Morning Call’s Festblog have both been reporting multiple times daily on festival highlights (such as where to find the best beer service).
  • And, for those who love impromptu cameraphone shots like the one above, keep an eye on the latest photos tagged with ‘musikfest’ on Flickr.

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