Hankinson’s 6th annual Polka Fest runs from 11 a.m.-11 p.m. on both Friday, June 7 and Saturday, June 8 on two different dance floors — one inside the Hankinson Community Center and the other just outside under the big, white tent. Full breakfasts are offered Saturday and Sunday mornings. There are ham and turkey sandwiches, barbecues and snacks throughout the day — plus burgers, brats and a pulled pork supper. Beer and mixed drinks are available all day.
Polka Fest includes five popular bands including Matt Hodek’s Dakota Dutchmen, the Larry Olsen Band, Barefoot Becky & the Ivanhoe Dutchmen Malek’s Fishermen and Julie Lee and her White Rose Band. A kick-off party will be held the night before, from 7-11 p.m. Thursday, June 6 and features Larry Rysavy. Free RV parking is offered, although hookups are not available. There also is nearby lodging in Hankinson, Lidgerwood and Wahpeton.
Polka Fest began at the urging of local snowbirds who enjoy the winter polka festivals in Arizona and Texas. The Hankinson Commercial Club already owned a large tent and purchased 1,500-square-feet of portable flooring for the outdoor dance area. Since its inception in 2014, Polka Fest has grown each year and attracted dancers from 21 states — coming from as far away as California, Washington, Vermont, Virginia, Louisiana and Mississippi.