For 11 years, DJ Kishka, locally based DJ Kishka has hosted a Polka Happy Hour at the Happy Dog Tavern. He launched the event in 2005 with an impromptu polka jam after polka band that was scheduled to play didn’t show up.
Now, Kishka has announced he’s bringing the monthly event to an end. The Polka Happy Hour scheduled to take place from 6 to 8 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 16, at the Happy Dog will be his last.
The event also coincides with Kishka’s “almost-infamous tavern theater” show, “How the Kishka Saved Christmas.” Every year at about this time, Kishka decorates the Happy Dog by erecting a fake Christmas tree with sauerkraut tinsel. He also hands out pierogi ornaments to be colored and hung as well. The decorations help set the mood for his special Christmas show, during which he plays Christmas polkas. Then, at 8 p.m., he clears the stage so his “Pickled Beet Players” can perform.
Though he will no longer host the popular happy hour event, Kishka still plans on being a major part of Dyngus Day Cleveland, the annual springtime event that takes place at the Happy Dog and at bars and restaurants throughout Cleveland’s near West side.
“I feel that concentrating on Dyngus Day performances is a great way for this character to move on,” he says in a press release. “It’s been a hell of a run so far and I’m looking forward to seeing what comes next.”
"In these troubled times, it's good to know the Kishka is there to save Christmas one more year,” says Happy Dog owner Sean Watterson. “After that, I guess we're all screwed."