Posen gears up for 65th Potato Festival

by Bob Selwa
Special Writer
Welcome to Posen!
Welcome to the fabulous potato festival.
Welcome to the foremost Polish American farming community in the United States.
Taste some of the most delicious, farm fresh food in America.
Listen with enjoyment or dance with zest to terrific polka music all three days.

Miss Posen 2016 is Tania Styma. (Portrait by Richard Lamb)
Miss Posen 2016 is Tania Styma. (Portrait by Richard Lamb)

Savor the delights of the largest, most spectacular parade in all of northeast Michigan and entire year.
The Posen Potato Festival begins at 6 p.m. Friday, September 9, and continues all day Saturday and Sunday.
This is the 65th annual potato festival of an amazingly historic community which began with lumbermen from Poland arriving in 1870 and staying to farm the land they cleared.
That’s 146 years! That’s seven generations of families! All across America, positive, contributing Americans cherish Posen, Michigan, in the heart of some of the best farmland in Presque Isle County, and speak with appreciation of pioneering farmers.
Complete schedules of the 2016 Posen Potato Festival are available in Posen, Rogers City, and across the great northland. For only $5, history books on the first 100 years of Posen are available at the festival.
The foremost event is the 1:30 p.m. Sunday Grand Festival Parade. The colorful floats, the delightful units, the queens and their courts, and the honored citizens and civic groups, make this parade truly grand.
Posen today lives the values of traditional America: marriage, home, family, church, school, love of nature, and strong, positive community life.
The grand parade features not only Miss Posen and her court on a beautiful float, but also in their own unit the parents of Miss Posen, for it takes both a mom and a dad to raise an outstanding young lady.
Our Miss Posen 2016 is Tania Styma, 18, daughter of Randy and Jane Styma.
Tania is a college-bound senior at Posen High School. She’s in the National Honor Society and on the student council. She belongs to the Pep Club and the Trip Club. And she won the talent award with tap dancing at the Miss Posen Pageant.
Posen is a village, a township, a school district and since 1875 has been on the map of the United States as having a U.S. Post Office.
There is a delightful, fun-filled children’s parade at noon Saturday.
The Sunday morning Polka Mass with religious Polish folk music at St. Casimir Catholic Church is missing this year, for a good reason. Pan Franek and Zosia, an inspiring family tradition of the festival, can’t be here because…they’re expecting their first grandchild.
The high quality arts and crafts show continues and will be 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday at Posen High School.
The Historic Elowsky Grist Mill at Leer Road and Long Lake Road in Posen Township will have tours from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays, as part of the festival.
The polka pavilion in the heart of festival grounds will have lively music from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. Friday night, noon to 6 p.m. Saturday, 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. Saturday Night, and noon to 9 p.m. Sunday.
Our agricultural heritage will be highlighted by delicious food served by civic groups: the Knights of Columbus, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Posen Fire and Rescue Volunteers and the St. Casimir Rosary Sodality. The potato pancakes are so good they can be eaten as dessert.
Just to the west of Posen is the Village of Metz which has an outstanding new historical park. It tells the story vividly of the Metz Fire of 1908, which spread across a vast area of Presque Isle County and was Michigan’s third worst fire in history.
The Posen Potato Festival is always the Friday, Saturday, and Sunday after Labor Day. The harvest is beginning. Folks are coming from all across the United States. The Posen Chamber of Commerce has made this a great tradition.
We join them in saying, welcome to Posen.