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Polka Fest King & Queen crowned

Couples twirled and hopped around the dance floor Friday evening to kick off the 2016 National Polka Festival at KJT Hall.

As is the tradition every Memorial Day weekend, Friday started off the three-day festival with a bang. During a normal Polka Festival weekend, Friday would serve as the King and Queen Dance to decide who would get the coveted spot atop the King and Queen float in Saturday morning’s parade.

This time around, polka enthusiasts got double the entertainment with two King and Queen dances.

The first dance contest came in honor of the 50th anniversary of Polka Fest, and the second, as tradition has it, served to determine the true king and queen of this year’s festival.

Pat and Doris Mollenhauer took the first contest, an All-Star dance contest, by storm, surprising many in the crowd but not the people that danced alongside them on the dance floor.

Pat and Doris were the 1998 Polka King and Queen. In February, the New Braunfels couple will celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary, and they still can polka with the best of them.

“We met on the dance floor. I don’t remember a time not dancing,” Doris said. “(Pat) tells me that his mother taught him when he was nine.”

The Mollenhauers are strong in their German heritage and enjoy Eastern European culture. They’ve entered dance contests at the Wurstfest in New Braunfels, county fairs and more. Their first dance contest together came in 1992 at a festival in Wisconsin.

“We don’t always win, but we always place in the top three,” she said.

The dance contest featured dancers from the first 30 King and Queen dances, and was a contest among past champions.

Although the Mollenhauers are the all-star champs, Friday was also a time for fresh faces in the dance contest. Two of those fresh faces came in a brother and sister dancing duo from a tiny community outside Temple.

Michael Brenek, 24, and Christina Brenek, 20, have been dancing together since they were children. They remember much of their childhood happening in dance halls.

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Posted by on May 28 2016. Filed under City news, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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