SPRINGFIELD — An award-winning polka song is a step closer to becoming the official state polka song of Illinois.
In action Wednesday, a House panel signed off on a proposal to add "Polka Celebration" to a growing list of official state designations.
State Rep. Robert Martwick, D-Chicago, said he proposed the legislation because of a constituent who serves on the International Polka Association board of directors.
“And obviously, as many of you know, I have taken liberty and times to inform the body of the significance of the Polish-American community in terms of the state of Illinois,” Martwick said.
The song he chose was written and composed by Eddie Blazonczyk Sr. He is a Chicago native and won a Grammy for the tune in 1986.
Watch Eddie Blazonczyk's Versatones perform the song:
“Most people think that the Polish-American community is centered in Chicago, and while that’s true, because of the size of Chicago, there was a large migration also to Southern Illinois,” he said.
He said there is a lot of Polish heritage in rural areas around Mt. Vernon, including Waltonville, Du Bois, Ashley and Radom.
Illinois already has 18 other official symbols, from the official state reptile to the square dance.
The legislation is House Bill 3515.