By Katie Harrington
Old Town Times Staff Writer
The polka-rock group The Polish Muslims will headline Oktoberfest in Old Town Oct. 8 from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m..
“They are beyond unique,” said Louise Gradwohl, a communications intern at the Old Town Commercial Association and the festival director. “They are quirky, fun and definitely fit the theme of Oktoberfest.”
The band, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, hails from Hamtramck, Mich., and calls its music fun and energetic, a mixture of music from the ’70s to today. It has also been compared to the stylings of Weird Al Yankovik because it features comedy and parodies.
“It’s our first time out in the Lansing area, and we’re really excited about it,” said Polish Muslims lead singer and guitarist Ken Kondrat. “The organizers of Oktoberfest know us well enough to know that we’re a good fit for the festival. Wherever there’s good beer and food, we’re a good fit.”
Lauren Karas, a member of the Oktoberfest planning committee and a student at Michigan State University, suggested the Polish Muslims for Oktoberfest. She said she got the idea from her dad, who has been listening to them for years.
“I’m from the Metro-Detroit area and I heard of them back home,” said Karas. “I know they pull a good crowd, and I thought they’d be a good choice because their music is nontraditional. It’s rock music with a Polish twist, which is different from the groups Oktoberfest has had in the past.”
The Polish Muslims will play in Lot 56 of Old Town on the corner of Turner and Grand River.
“For people who have not heard us, like the people from Old Town, to hear us and get a kick out of us for the first time is the reason we [perform],” said Kondrat. “It’s a wonderful feeling, and we have a lot of fun.”