Fifteen years of polka

The 18th annual Prince Albert Polka Fest is taking place at the P.A. Exhibition Centre from Aug. 26 to 28. (File photo)

P.A. Polka Fest celebrates 15th birthday with a performance by The Cottonpickers

The Prince Albert Polka Fest is returning to the P.A. Exhibition Centre stage for the 15th year, and to mark the occasion organizer Lawrence Bodnar recruited renowned local country dance band The Cottonpickers for a rare performance.

Cottonpickers Dolores Bell and Bev Stewart are the only active members of the group, but upon Bodnar’s request they managed to bring five additional band members together for Polka Fest, which is a fundraiser for the Exhibition Association.

“They’ve been around for so many years and they’re a well-known band and … I thought it would be nice to reunite them. And what better place than the Prince Albert Polka Fest 15th anniversary?” Bodnar said.

“Two of them played at our pancake breakfast (last year) and they were incredibly good not playing for a number of years … so I approached them and they gave me the OK.”

The 15th annual P.A. Polka Fest takes place at the Exhibition Centre from Friday, Aug. 25 to Sunday, Aug. 27. The Cottonpickers, who last year were inducted into the P.A. Arts Hall of Fame, will be honoured with a “grand entry” with a pipe band and flag bearers, but they are only one of the many acts to grace the stage.

The rest of the performers include local acts Rev. Rick Martin and the Country Gentlemen Band, Leon Ochs from Landis, Sask., the Gold Tones Band from around Hafford, Sask. and Len Gadica from the Regina area. The Polka Fest Jam Band will conclude the festivities on Sunday at around noon.

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Got to go:

What? 15th annual Prince Albert Polka Fest

Where? P.A. Exhibition Centre

When? Friday, Aug. 25 to Sunday, Aug. 27

Admission? In advance: $13 on Friday, $18 on Saturday, $8 on Sunday, $28 for Friday-Saturday Combo, $36 three-day Super Pass.

At the door: $15 on Friday, $20 on Saturday, $32 for Friday-Saturday Combo, $39 for three-day Super Pass.