Saturday, July 14, 2007

Canadian 'Polkapalooza' Draws Accordion Army

The Kimberley International Old Time Accordion Championships sound a little like a squeezebox Sturgis, only with motor homes and polka fans rather than motorcycles and wet T-shirt contests. The Globe and Mail describes it as "an annual festival that floods the mountain community with devotees of the stretchy instrument."

"The stretchy instrument"? That's a new one.

But hordes of squeezebox fanatics descending on a small town sounds interesting, to say the least.

"People are accordion crazy up here," says Alex Meixner, one of the judges who rates competitors on "'old-time feeling,' technique and the danceability of their style ... gauged by a lone couple dancing offstage at the Civic Centre during competitions," according to the paper.

At least one stomach Steinway aficionado at the gathering is thinking more avant-garde than "old time." Reports the Globe and Mail: "One festival goer struts around wearing a white T-shirt that reads: Accordions rock."

Boy howdy they do.

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