It was 1988 when Bob Doszak. first had the notion to bring the best Cleveland-style polka bands in the country together under one roof. Oakbrook, Illinois was the site for the very first Illinois Polkafest. After a huge success that first year, the Illinois Polkafest would become a tradition for Bob and his family for the next 25-plus years as the event quickly became one of the largest polka dances in the United States.
Since then, many thousands of polka fans have converged on the greater Chicago area during the first weekend in February to hear some of the best polka bands in the country. Many dozens of the best known and most talented bands have performed at the festival, which has been held at a handful of different Chicago-area locations including: Oakbrook, St. Charles, Naperville, and now Schaumburg.
Although he was only 9-years-old when the first festival was held – starting with the 2016 festival – Bob’s son Chris has taken on the task of running this annual event. Like his father, Chris continues to book the very best bands from around the country and keep what is now one of the last remaining large polkafests still going strong.
Attending the Illinois Polkafest provides some of the best fun you can have over a February weekend. It has become an annual tradition for many fans from California all the way to the east coast. Whether this will be your first Illinois Polkafest or you have been attending for years, you are certain to have a great time along with family and friends as you dance and listen to some great polka music!