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Celebrate polka, Polish heritage in Granville

GRANVILLE, N.Y.-Donnie P and Celebration, a well-known Polish polka band from the Albany, N.Y., area, headlines the Slate Valley Museum's Barn Dance, Saturday, Sept. 19. The rain or shine event, 5-11 p.m., will be held in the barn and under tents at Wing Clydesdales and Horse Farm in Granville. The farm is the major sponsor for the museum fundraiser.

Barn dance tickets, $15 for adults and $5 for ages 12 and under, can be purchased in advance at the museum and other ticket locations or at the gate, but tickets are limited.

The four-member Polish-American band, under the leadership of Don Poteralski, has performed throughout northern New York, Vermont, and western Massachusetts for over 30 years.

Museum director Mary Lou Willits saysthere are many people of Polish ancestry in the Granvilel area.

"Each year our public programs feature the customs of the different immigrant groups who came to work in the region's slate industry, and the Polish polka tradition is a good fit with our first barn dance fundraiser," she said. "Also, many Polish immigrants worked in the marble industry, so we hope to draw people from the Rutland area, especially its Polish American Club members who in past years have invited Donnie P and Celebration to play at their annual gathering in West Rutland," she adds.

Hayrides with the farm's award-winning Clydesdale team begin at 5 p.m., and the band plays 7-11 p.m. Both Polish and American food will be available for purchase starting at 6 p.m. A raffle that runs until 10 p.m. features a Telescope Casual Furniture patio set with umbrella, a stainless steel 3-burner gas grill donated by Granville American Hardware, two cash prizes ($200 and $100) donated by Peter Tatko, and a basket of wine donated by museum trustees. Raffle tickets, which are available for sale at the museum and at the event, are $4 per ticket or $20 for six tickets.

"So far, we have received a great response from people who like to polka and people who love horses," said farm owner and museum trustee John Shaw.

Shaw, who regularly shows his four bay Clydesdales, has operated a carriage business for weddings, proms, marketing events, and anniversaries for over 10 years. The Granville Future Farmers of America have donated their time to work with Shaw to prepare the farm for the event.

For more information and a map to Wing Clydesdales and Horse Farm, visit the museum website at www.slatevalleymuseum.org or call the museum at 518-642-1416.

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