4/12/12 Buffalo, New York and South Bend, Indiana may be the considered Dyngus Day hot spots; however, Plymouth Miller’s Senior Living gave them a run for their money this year.  Miller’s hosted their first Dyngus Day celebration with a traditional Polish buffet, campaigning politicians and Polka dancers.

Historically Dyngus Day was started to have fun and celebrate after the serious period of Lent.   Later, it became the official start of the campaigning season particularly by Democrats.  The Miller’s Dyngus Day celebration welcomed political candidates from both parties.  Those who attended the Meet & Greet were Francis Ellert and Tim Harman; both of whom are running for the House District 17 Indiana House of Representatives.  Case managers of Congressman Joe Donnelly and Richard Mourdock and Tim Harman attended.  Plymouth Mayor Mark Senter was also present.  During lunch everyone received a special “I Survived Dyngus Day” magnet from Activity Director Cindy Flagg.

Following the buffet Annette Ray of Bourbon, Marcia Heintzberger of Bremen and Miller’s Campus Administrator Erin Ginter presented a program about the Polka.   Ray told the history of Dyngus Day and went on to tell about the lively dance the Polka.  Ray’s mother taught her to dance the Polka at the age of six and she’s enjoyed it ever since.  Heintzberger who is a dance instructor at Lifeplex Dance Academy wore an ethnic costume and demonstrated the Polka with Ginter while Ray told the origin of some of the songs.  The three dancers also got some of the audience involved to the different polka’s including “Beer Barrel Polka”, “Just Because”, “Who Stole The Keeshke” and “The Liechtensteiner Polka”.  Ray explained at weddings where the polka is played every once in a while a waltz will be “thrown in to get your heart rate back down to where it ought to be”.

The audience enjoyed watching and singing along.   It was decided the Dyngus Day celebration at Miller’s should become an annual event.  Mark your calendars for 2013…the day after Easter.

Photo:  Miller’s resident Mae Mikesell and Campus Administrator Erin Ginter dance the polka on Dyngus Day.