by Bob Selwa—Special to the Advance
Welcome to Posen!
Welcome to the foremost Polish-American farming community in America!
Welcome to a town and countryside with solid values of home, marriage, family, church, school, service and community.
Welcome to the friendly and fabulous 66th Annual Posen Potato Festival!
Folks come from all over the U.S.A. to a little town with a big heart for a potato and agricultural festival that is always the Friday, Saturday and Sunday after Labor Day.
The good folks of Posen extend a warm welcome all four seasons of the year. And all year they plan and prepare to make each Posen Potato Festival the best it can be.
Complete schedules with maps are available in Posen, Rogers City and throughout Presque Isle County, the nature wonderland of Lake Huron, 99 inland lakes, streams, forests, farms, geological wonders and delightful communities.
Two free public events are highlights of the Posen Potato Festival.
One is the children’s parade.
It is at noon Saturday. It is absolutely delightful. Families go all out to create the most humorous and fascinating units of children. Our thanks to to their devoted parents, brothers, sisters and grandparents.
The children’s parade is short and sweet. It begins at the Posen Community Center and proceeds south on M-65 to the reviewing stand. There are all sorts of awards given to the children.
The greatest free public event is the grand parade.
It is at 1:30 p.m. Sunday. It goes the entire one-mile length of the village of Posen north on M-65 from the Posen baseball field to the Posen Consolidated Schools.
This is the biggest and best parade in all of northeast Michigan the entire year.
Communities, civic groups and patriotic groups from all over northern Michigan prepare beautiful floats and impressive units, all in good wholesome fun.
One of the most impressive of all is the Miss Posen and her court float. Posen is such a great family town that the grand parade also honors the parents of Miss Posen with their own special unit.
WHO IS that happy young lady who is Miss Posen 2017? Who are the wonderful eight young ladies who serve on the Miss Posen court?
All are college-bound seniors of Posen High School (PHS).
These nine young lades provided an entire evening of excellent wholesome meaningful entertainment at the Aug. 11 Miss Posen Pageant. It was a great community event with families and friends and citizens from all over filling the Posen High School auditorium.
This is an event highlighting inner beauty. Yes, we have very pretty girls. But we also have what the contestants do for their school and community and how they are making a difference for the good of humanity.
Judges highlight these young ladies based on personal interview, fitness and coordination, talent, stage presentation, ability to put ideas across, poise, grace, general appearance, ability to speak in public, how well suited a dress and accessories are to a young lady’s figure and personality and congeniality. The congeniality award is voted upon by the nine young ladies themselves; the others are voted upon by the three carefully chosen judges.
THESE NINE young ladies will represent Posen at parades, festivals, events and in friendship with everyone throughout the year.
Camille LaTulip, 17, daughter of Joe and Michelle LaTulip, is of service as Miss Posen 2017.
Court members are first runner-up Brianna Kuffel; co-second runner-up, Taylor Peters and Lydia Werth; and in alphabetical order, Kaylee Bell, Arianne Chojnacki, Morgan Dubie, Faith Romel and Noelle Strzelecki.
Camille plays basketball, volleyball and softball for Posen High School. She serves on the student council. She is also in the pep club, the trip club, and Students Against Destructive Decisions. She plans to go to a university and then a medical school.
These outstanding attributes are common in one form or another for all nine young ladies representing Posen.
Julie LaBar of Detroit, Ashley Montroy of Alpena and Scott McLennan of Rogers City, served as 2017 Miss Posen judges for our dedicated and enthusiastic Miss Posen Pageant committee.
Each year our outstanding Posen Chamber of Commerce, in holding the fabulous festival, selects a citizen or a husband and wife to be honored in the parade and at the festival and in the community as the honorary grand marshal or marshals.
Mr. and Mrs. Gary and Marie Wozniak are the 2017 Posen honorary grand marshals. They are married 40 years with two children and one grandchild. They provided for many years an auto repair business in Posen.
Gary served as a county commissioner. Marie is the clerk of Pulaski Township. Their volunteer service in many groups include the Posen Knights of Columbus and the Posen Chamber of Commerce. They both have made a big difference for the good of the community for a long time. God bless you, Gary and Marie.
The best meals in Michigan are served at the Posen Potato Festival, thanks to farm fresh ingredients and loving care.
Coming through with fabulous meals for everyone are the Knights of Columbus, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Posen Fire and Rescue Volunteers and the St. Casimir Rosary Society.
Great Polish polka music fills the Posen Polka pavilion all three days of the festival.
All three days the whole town is lively with activity thanks to civic groups and to vendors.
The historic Elowsky Grist Mill on Leer Road at Long Lake Road i
Mystery Valley reveals the geological wonders of Presque Isle County throughout the year on the Leer Road Trail south of Long Lake Road in Posen Township thanks to the Michigan Nature Association and the Michigan Karst Conservancy. Mystery Valley becomes a lake or changes to a lush green valley as a result of a vast system of underground limestone sinkholes. There are 36 major sinkholes in Alpena County and Presque Isle County, and many smaller ones.
Posen began with lumbermen from Poland who arrived in 1870 and stayed to farm the lands they cleared.
POSEN TODAY is an incorporated village, a township, a community of several Polish-American farming townships, a top quality Posen Consolidated Schools system, and a post office that has put Posen on the map of the United States since 1875.
It was in 1875 that Posen became a strong community in two other ways as well. The name Posen was adopted for the township that was created that year. Posen was the German spelling of Poznan during the Partition of Poland. And the first church was built of logs, by the lumbermen, farmers, today’s 1971 modern St. Casimir Catholic Church, named for a humble prince and great saint of Poland.
Puzzled by the Polish words above the altar? They proclaim Isaiah 56:7: “For my house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples.”
And that is Posen, Michigan, a warm welcome for all peoples of goodwill from everywhere, at festival time and during all four seasons.