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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Oktoberfest - Storm Lake '07

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Storm Lake Elks Lodge will be hosting Storm Lake's first Oktoberfest with a special Old World style meal, music and dancing.

The new event is being planned for Saturday, October 20 at the lodge, 610 Michigan Street.

Performing will be The Malek Fishermen Band.

The Garner-area band dates back to the 1930s, formed by brothers Syl and Ed Malek as an accordion band doing barn dances, playing as many as 200 dates a year. Their stomping grounds included the Cobblestone Ballroom in Storm Lake.

They have become one of the midwest's best-known polka bands, complete with tuba, and have recorded seven treasuries of their music.

A third generation of Malek family members are leading the band today.

There is something about the traditional music that just keeps the genre going, says Bob Malek. "There is so much music that is depressing. What we play is upbeat and fun, and people can sing along. The harmonies are very rich. While it makes me sad to see things like big band music being forgotten, the polka sound remains popular.

The band, which has played the Hanover Historical Fetsival three times, is making its first modern-day visit in Storm Lake.

Expect some classic foxtrot-style music, such as Glenn Miller's "In the Mood," a little bit of country-western fun, as in Tom T. Hall's "I Like Beer," and of course, the timeless polkas.

The band has recorded songs like "The Chicago Waltz," "Please Maria," "The Nebraska Polka," "When the snow is on the Roses," and more.

"We hope people of all ages will come out and have some fun with us," Bob said. "It's a good thing for Storm Lake to have an Oktoberfest."

The band will be anchoring the large Oktoberfest being planned for Des Moines.

The tradition dates to Prince Ludwig of Bavaria, nearly 200 years ago, and is celebrated by more people worldwide than any other non-holiday event.