I thought maybe the booyah drew us to Hofa Park every year for their Father’s Day polka fest.
Simmering from a giant, old school pot and so full of meat and vegetables you almost need a fork to eat it, that booyah is delicious.
But, that’s not the main draw.
It might be the music — those joyous polka players who wink from the bandstand and beckon all ages to the dance floor.
We’ll never decline a polka, but I don’t think the dancing is the main reason we come to St. Stanislaus every year either.
The pies? Delicious and flaky but not the real reason that festival lands on our calendar each year.
It’s not even that wonderful, outdoor, uplifting polka mass we enjoy every year.
No, I think it’s the people — the elderly woman who heaved herself out of her walker, slowly made her way to the dance floor and then joined her husband for some perky spins around the dance floor; the polka Hall of Famer cheerfully conducting a tiny train and driving cars full of delighted children around the church grounds; the very kind pie lady who let me pick out a whole strawberry rhubarb pie and then carried it through the festival with me obediently trailing behind so I could purchase it from the proper cash box; the darling polka queen who whipped around that dance floor with her dad and proved her title well-earned; the proud vintage tractor drivers, the unflappable booyah scoopers; the patient operators of the children’s petting zoo; the friendly priest.
The people of Hofa Park and all its neighboring towns make that festival a joy to attend.
We praised all the hims with booyah and dance on a sunny Father’s Day and felt very grateful for the experience.