1986 is a year that will be forever etched into my mind. It was the year that the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded shortly after take-off. It was also the year when I learned about Chernobyl, a town roughly one third the size of Greenwich Village, suffering the worst ever nuclear disaster. Of course 1986 wasn’t all doom and gloom. We were able to fill our gas tanks for just 89 cents a gallon and the Catskill Region was introduced to Fran’sPolka Weekend.
|Pictured above from left to right – Jennie Tylicki,
Fr. Carl Urban, and Fran Fierst at the 2014 Fran’s
Polka Weekend at Honor’s Haven Resort & Spa.
Sadly, on Sunday, September 27, 2015, Fran’s Polka Weekend will pack up its accordions for the last time at Honor’s Haven Resort & Spa. “It’s so sad for me to think of retiring from doing what I love so much” said Fran Fierst, founder and producer of Fran’s Polka Weekend. “These twenty-nine years have brought so much joy and happiness into my life. I’ve made so many friends and have memories that will last my whole life.”
Fran, who was born, raised, and continues to reside in Manville, New Jersey was immersed in the Polka culture from the minute she was born. Loving the way the music brought the best out in people, she knew that she wanted to live her life helping others experience the happiness and fun that Polka had provided her.
In the late 1960’s Fran teamed up with Polka promoter, Bernie Goydish. Over the next fifteen plus years, Fran learned the ins and outs of Polka promotion. Then, in 1986 she set out on her own, presenting her inaugural Polka weekend; Fran’s Polka Weekend.
So here we are – twenty-nine years later, faced with the retirement of an iconic program.
“I have to admit that the idea of these hallways falling silent next Sunday is heartbreaking” said Wendy Lupinski-Beck, Marketing Coordinator for Honor’s Haven Resort & Spa. “When I moved to New York in 1996, Fran’s Polka Weekend had already achieved legendary status and it’s no secret that when she [Fran] turns off the microphone next Sunday, we will all be witnessing the end of an era.”
It’s obvious that the retirement of this program is going to leave a huge void in the hearts of the Polka community. So what will Fran miss? “I’ll miss the people – the smiles – the thank you’s – the love and appreciation they have for what I’ve done” said Fran. “I will always remember the good times and the friendly polka people who made it so.”
To learn more about how you can experience the final Fran’s Polka Weekend, scheduled for September 25-27, 2015 call 908-722-9025.