At the 16th Annual Slovenian Sausage Festival, Azman Quality Meats of Euclid, Ohio,
earned the rare honor of winning both the Best of Fest Jury Award and the People's
Choice Award. Raddell's Sausage Shop, from Cleveland's Collinwood neighborhood, scored
runner-up in both categories. The event was hosted by the National Cleveland-Style
Polka Hall of Fame on Wednesday, September 11, 2019, at the SNPJ Farm in Kirtland,
More than 1,300 hungry music-lovers enjoyed eight hours of polka music and savory
sausages. Fifty musicians and accordionists, including Canada's Polka King Walter
Ostanek, volunteered their services at the fund-raiser for the Polka Hall of Fame.
"This is the music and food I grew up with -- and my Dad, too, and he's ninety-one!"
said Tom Scheid, a Willowick, Ohio, native, now working in Philadelphia. "That's
why we're both here for this great event."
Bill Azman, proprietor of Azman Quality Meat, is a third-generation sausage-maker.
When his grandfather first opened a butcher shop 95 years ago, he used recipes he
brought from Slovenia. As winner of the People's Choice, Bill Azman's prize sausages
will be served at the Polka Hall of Fame's three-day polka music festival, Thanksgiving
weekend, November 28, 29 and 30, 2019, at Cleveland's Downtown Marriott Hotel.
The Slovenian sausage is made with pork, often accented with garlic, and then cured
and smoked. Nearly 2,000 sausages were purchased at the event. Jury members included
Hon. Alenka Jerak, Consul General from Slovenia, and Miss SNPJ 2020 Daniella Volpe,
representing the Slovene National Benefit Society (SNPJ).
The National Cleveland-Style Polka Hall of Fame celebrates the style of American
dance music that emerged from the city's neighborhoods and became a national sensation
with America's Polka King Frank Yankovic in the decades after World War II. The museum
is located at 605 East 222nd Street in Euclid, Ohio, in the city's historic former
city hall. For more information, check the website at www.polkafame.com or call (216)
Bill Azman (left) of Azman's Quality Meats in Euclid, Ohio, accepts the People's
Choice banner at the 16th annual Slovenian Sausage Festival sponsored by the National
Cleveland-Style Polka Hall of Fame. Bill Azman's sausages also won the Jury Prize.
The event was held September 11, 2019, at SNPJ Farm in Kirtland, Ohio. Left to right:
Bill Azman; Consul General of Slovenia Alenka Jerak; Marie Azman, Polka Hall of Fame
President Joe Valencic; and Trustee Denny Bucar.
Ray Kovac of Warren, Ohio, entertains on his green vintage Mervar diatonic accordion
at the 16th annual Slovenian Sausage Festival sponsored by the National Cleveland-Style
Polka Hall of Fame at SNPJ Farm in Kirtland, Ohio, September 11, 2019. Polka performers
turned out for the eight-hour dance marathon.