LETTER: Let us help bring back the Corn Palace Polka FestivalI’m surprised the economic development board hasn’t questioned the decision on the cancellation of the event that sold over 600 tickets with attendees from 47 states, Canada and Germany.
By: Don Buhlke, Kearney, Neb.
To the Editor:
This letter is regarding the cancellation of the Polka Festival at the Corn Palace after 31 years. I’m surprised the economic development board hasn’t questioned the decision on the cancellation of the event that sold over 600 tickets with attendees from 47 states, Canada and Germany.
Mitchell’s motels, restaurants, RV parks, shops and gas stations all benefit from the festival.
As with competition for sporting events, conventions, and other tourist attractions from Sioux Falls, Vermillion, and Rapid City, Mitchell was the destinations for dancers at the Corn Palace in September. My city would welcome an event that would generate that amount of commerce, but we don’t have a facility to accommodate over 600 dancers.
Mr. Schilling is correct in stating the dancers are getting older, but attendance is still high enough for the festival to show a profit. If needed, adjustments could be made for the event such as fees, number of bands, etc.
As a dance group maybe we had become complacent that in September the festival in Mitchell would just continue. This is a wake-up call. We as a group are willing to help with set up, tear down, etc. I’ve received numerous phone calls pledging money for advertising. Please let us help the Polka Festival at the Corn Palace become a viable event again.