By Molly Snyder Senior Writer Published May 25, 2005 at 5:20 AM

{image1}The International Gay Bowling Organization (IGBO) holds its 25th annual gala and bowling tournament in Milwaukee this weekend. Surprisingly, this is the group's first visit to bowler-cordial Brew City.

Hundreds of male and female gay bowlers from around the globe compete at a few local alleys: AMF Bolero, AMF West Allis and Landmark Lanes. Between games, IGBO members are invited to check out Brew City's charms and lower their averages with scores of beverages.

To get the ball rolling, Art Bar, 722 E. Burleigh St., hosts "The Big (Gay) Polka Party," a massive block party and dance jam in the 700 block of Burleigh, on Thursday, May 26, from 5 p.m. until midnight.

For seven hours, a block of Burleigh will be converted into an outdoor dance club, complete with dance floor lighting flooding the street. Art Bar owner Don Krause says Ald. Michael D'Amato was key in helping to secure the temporary street closing permit, the noise variance permit and the redirection of bus lines.

"The Big Polka Party will showcase Milwaukee's neighborhood hospitality, warm spirit, diverse heritage and enthusiastic polka dance moves," says Krause. "And it's a kitschy way to show them how we party."

The Riverwest Accordion Club plays from 8 to 11 p.m. RAC's Sarah Kozar will loosen up the crowd with swing tunes starting at 7 p.m. Burgers, brats, beers, cocktails and a $5 martini bar flesh out the fun.

Don't polka? Not gay? No problem. Like all Art Bar events, people from a variety of "teams" are expected to attend this classic Milwaukee event.

"Anytime you mix it up, you have a better party," says Krause.

For more information, call (414) 372-7880.

Molly Snyder started writing and publishing her work at the age 10, when her community newspaper printed her poem, "The Unicorn.” Since then, she's expanded beyond the subject of mythical creatures and written in many different mediums but, nearest and dearest to her heart, thousands of articles for OnMilwaukee.

Molly is a regular contributor to FOX6 News and numerous radio stations as well as the co-host of "Dandelions: A Podcast For Women.” She's received five Milwaukee Press Club Awards, served as the Pfister Narrator and is the Wisconsin State Fair’s Celebrity Cream Puff Eating Champion of 2019.