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PolkaFest 2023 Was A Big Success

It took a few songs, but then the dance floor at Peoples Natural Gas Park began to fill on Friday with both seasoned polka dancers and children just having fun.

The 1st Summit Bank PolkaFest kicked off Friday at Peoples Natural Gas Park, 90 Johns St., downtown Johnstown. The event, sponsored by the bank and presented by Visit Johnstown, continues Saturday and Sunday.

Dave and Anne Loeffler, of York County, were two of the first dancers out on Friday.

What brought them to Johnstown?

“Polka,” Anne said. “We love dancing.”

PolkaFest draws people from all regions of Pennsylvania and beyond. It’s a homecoming for some, but there are others who simply follow bands to festivals.

The PolkaFest, in its 25th year this weekend, was started by a Johnstown man, Bill Marano, and his late wife Debbie, who wanted to have a world-class Polka festival in Johnstown, said Lisa Rager, Visit Johnstown executive director.

Rager said the festival this weekend includes a deep lineup of talented bands.

“This place is always fun,” said Barb Serokman, of the Mundys Corner area. “There’s good things to eat. The crowd is friendly, and everybody enjoys the music, the very happy music.”

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