Bandstand used by Chad Przybylski, c. 1980-2003Alongside cheese, beer and brats, the polka might be one of the most readily recognized Wisconsin icons. In fact, in 1993 the polka was declared the official state dance. For more than a decade before the polka received this recognition, Chad Przybylski (born 1967) and his band did their own part to help perpetuate the Wisconsin tradition.

Przybylski and his band began performing polka music in his hometown of Pulaski, Wisconsin around 1980. Przybylski commissioned this wooden stand from a local artist to both advertise the band during shows as well as provide a resting spot for items like sheet music and drinks during their performances. The bandstand’s many scratches and stains document the hundreds of shows performed by Przybylski and his bandmates.

This story was edited and adapted from AGH’s original Curators’ Favorites article, January 2008. 


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This object is part of the Curators’ Favorites Collection at the Wisconsin Historical Society. Explore the whole collection here!


March, Richard. “Wisconsin Remains Polka Country” in “Wisconsin Folklife: A Celebration of Wisconsin Traditions” (Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters, 1988).

Leary, James P. “Polka Music in a Polka State,” in “Wisconsin Folklore” (Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press, 1998).

Johnson, Mark. “Polka still has a few twirls left,” in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, June 3, 2005.

Falk, Nathan. “Get ready to polka in Pulaski this weekend,” in the Shawano Leader, July 20, 2006.

Smodic, Frank Jr. “Frank Yankovic…America’s Polka King,” 1990.

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