2017-09-07 / Celebrations & Milestones

Kinde ready to Polka!

By John Bonke
Staff Writer • jbonke@mihomepaper.com

KINDE - The brand new, newly constructed “Friends of Kinde Palace” in downtown Kinde will debut this year just in time for Kinde Polka Festival, Sept. 15-17. Three of the original founders of the “Friends of Kinde” - Kevin Wiley who serves as President, Paul Fisher, who is Vice-President, and Helen Jean Wiley, who serves as the group’s Secretary/Treasurer spearhead the efforts of many supporters and volunteers for the KPF.

Helen Jean recalls the genesis of the building project. In 2005, Kevin was watering flowers in front of The Country Parlor in Kinde. Fisher stopped and struck up a conversation about his childhood memories of the former Kinde Homecoming festivities. So, an idea was born to resurrect a festival for Kinde. A group of individuals met and soon formed the non-profit Friends of Kinde.

Additionally, memories of ‘polka’ pizza parties, fish fries, Polish dinners, consignment auctions, haunted houses, millionaire parties, and even a spaghetti dinner, along with each of the annual KPF make the ground breaking for the new open-air facility that much sweeter. Along with a group of those who have been “most loyal and true supporters and volunteers,” all have worked to build a community gathering place in Kinde and help the local area.

Not only does the Kinde Polka Fest continue the family and friends reunion tradition, proceeds have benefited many local worthy causes, including North Huron Athletic Boosters, North Huron Band, National Honor Society, Student Council, FFA, Yearbook as well as Thumb Industries, SafePlace, Safetyville, Toys for Tots, the Village of Kinde Fire Department and the Kinde Village Park.

Preparing for the 12th Annual Kinde Polka Fest - Sept. 15-17 - is “very exciting” for all who have kept the music and dancing associated with KPF alive and flourishing, said Helen Jean.

One of the main attractions of the annual festival is the music.

The 2017 band line-up includes headliners Country & Rock Night, Friday, Sept. 15 with “Steve Armstrong & The 25-Cent Beer Band” playing from 7:30 p.m. to midnight.

Polka music will begin on Saturday, Sept. 16 with “Lenny Gomulka & The Chicago Push,” “Big Daddy Lackowski & The La-Dee-Das,” “Stevie D,” and “Darrel Weltin & The New Brass Express.”

On Sunday, Sept. 17 Polka music will continue with “Lenny Gomulka & The Chicago Push,” “Stephanie, America’s Polka Sweetheart,” and “The Natural Tones.”

Another event is scheduled to round out the fun.

The 7th Annual Kinde Polka Fest 5K Walk/Run will step out at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 16, with registration from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.

For more information, see www.kindepolkafest.org.

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