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May 5, 2015

St Mary's Polish Country Fair 5/22 to 5/25


Summer starts in Orchard Lake this Memorial Day Weekend with the 44th annual St. Mary’s Polish Country Fair.  Hosted and sponsored by the St. Mary’s Preparatory Moms & Dads Club, the fair will take place from Fri., May 22 through Mon., May 25 and benefits the students at the 130-year-old high school.




For the first time ever, Keego Harbor, Mich.-based restaurant Yardbird Smoked Meats will serve food during the inaugural “Country Music Night.”  From 5-11 p.m. on the first night of the fair, guests will enjoy live music as well as food from the restaurant. A combo plate, which will be available for $10, will include two ribs, pulled pork, YB slaw, potato salad, watermelon and an accompanying sauce. Owned and operated by celebrated Chef Jeremy Grandon and Brad Cousens, Yardbird’s menu spotlights an array of barbecued smoked meats and old-fashioned griddle burgers and hotdogs.

“This is the first time in the fair’s 44-year history that we have invited an outside food vendor to participate in the event,” said Kevin Foe, event director for the festival.  “With the restaurant located just down the street, Jeremy Grandon being such a fantastic chef and co-owner Brad Cousens being a St. Mary’s alumnus, we knew that Yardbird was the ideal partner for us on this venture.”

Said Grandon, “St. Mary’s is a family tradition.  I am excited to have the opportunity to be involved in the fair and honored that Yardbird is the first restaurant invited to do so.”

Attracting more than 125,000 visitors each year, the nation’s largest high school fair will offer a wide range of entertainment from top local bands, such as headlining acts the Mega 80’s and 50 Amp Fuse, a dedicated Country Night, Vegas-style gambling tent, large selection of mouth-watering authentic Polish cuisine, dancing and carnival rides. This year, the fair will be open: Friday, 5p.m. - 11 p.m.; Saturday - Sunday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m.;andMonday, 11 a.m.- 7 p.m.  The Vegas tent will run from 6 p.m. to 1 a.m. Friday; 3 p.m. to 1 a.m. Saturday and Sunday and 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Monday.  Attendees must be 18 or older, with a valid ID, to enter the fair after 6 p.m. unless accompanied by a parent.

TICKETS
The fair will include free parking on the grounds of St. Mary’s. General admission is $5 per person or $10 for families of up to six people. Children up to age three are free.  Cash only will be accepted, and ATMs will be available on-site.

All-day ride passes can be purchased at the gate for $30 or, from May 2 through May 21, for $25 at participating Meijer store locations and on the fair’s website. Online tickets, which will have a $2.50 fee per transaction, will be valid from open to 10:30 p.m. Friday through Sunday and all day Monday.  This is the first time in the fair’s history that Midway tickets have been available online.

Backpacks will not be allowed into the event and proper attire is required.

“For more than four decades, the fair has not only been a tradition for thousands in the community, but also our school’s largest fundraiser,” said Cormac Lynn, headmaster of St. Mary’s and host of the annual festival.  “Thanks to the Festival, we are able to do so much for the St. Mary’s including providing scholarships, supporting student initiatives and maintaining and improving our 120-acre campus and 26 historic buildings.”

Added Foe, “It really is such a pleasure to see our students, their families and so many from metro Detroit and beyond coming together to have fun and celebrate the start of summer and Polish traditions. The Moms & Dads Club works on this all year and being able to help the students is of the utmost importance to us.”

Activities for all ages include live entertainment, traditional Polish and American food and family-centered games and rides.

FOOD OFFERINGS
Polish food takes center stage at St. Mary’s Polish Country Fair. An expansive menu, with prices ranging from $2-10, boasts authentic Polish favorites such as kielbasa, pierogi, kapusta (sauerkraut) and golabki (stuffed cabbage). Pierogi varieties include farmer’s cheese, sauerkraut, potato, mushroom and potato/cheddar.

For guests who want to sample many of the Polish favorites, the $10 Polish combo includes: Polish sausage served on a bun, kapusta, the choice of three pierogi, golabki and a dill pickle.

In addition to Yardbird Smoked Meats serving food on Country Music Night, a large selection of traditional American fair food, such as hamburgers, fresh baked goods, smoothies and ice-cold adult beverages, will be available in the St. Mary’s Grill throughout the weekend.

Separately, a Beer Garden will offer adult attendees a selection of Michigan-brewed beers including: Saugatuck Brewing Company’s Oval Beach Blonde, Cheboygan Brewing Company’s Lighthouse Amber, North Peak Brewing Company’s Diabolical and more.

PERFORMANCE LINEUP
From Top 40 to country and jazz to polka rock, there is a wide variety of music to enjoy at this year’s fair:

Fri., May 22 (Country Music Night):
5:00 p.m.
Cooper Anstett
7:15 p.m.
Annabelle Road
9:30 p.m.
Gunnar & The Grizzly Boys

Sat., May 23:
12:00 p.m.
St. Mary’s Jazz Ensemble
1:00 p.m.
Nighthawks Jazz Orchestra
2:45 p.m.
Smokin’ Mirrors (rock)
5:00 p.m.
The Polish Muslims (polka rock)
8:00 p.m.
Fifty Amp Fuse (Top 40)

Sun., May 24:
12:00 p.m.
Big Daddy (polka)
3:00 p.m.
Big Smooth and The Hellraisers (blues and southern rock)
5:00 p.m.
Mr. Moody (Top 40)
8:00 p.m.
MEGA 80’s (80s hits)

Mon., May 25:
12:00 p.m.
bugs Beddow & the Good STuFF (R&B/soul/rock & soul/blues)
2:00 p.m.
Persuasion (Top 40)
4:15 p.m.
Toppermost (Beatles tribute)

LAS VEGAS STYLE GAMBLING AND BINGO TENTS
The Vegas tent will return for visitors 18 years and older with several casino games: traditional Black Jack, Craps, Roulette and Big Wheel. It will be open 6 p.m. – 1 a.m. Friday; 3 p.m. – 1 a.m. Saturday and Sunday; and 3 – 7 p.m.Monday.  Admission to the tent, for which identification is required, is $5 per person. A cash bar with adult beverages will be available for individuals 21 years and older, who will be required to wear a wristband. 

Parent volunteers and professionals will serve as dealers for all tables. Those who wish to gamble can pay cash in exchange for playing chips.  The cash-out limit is $500. 

Fair visitors also can try their luck at a fast-paced game of Bingo in a separate tent and win cash prizes. Bingo cards are $2 each.

CARNIVAL RIDES, GAMES AND KIDS AREA
The fair offers more than 45 Midway rides with plenty of thrill rides, like an 80-foot roller coaster, Merry-go-Round and a Kids’ Zone with crafts for youngsters.Creative Arts Studio of Royal Oak will provide many fun children's activities such as pottery painting, mosaics, wax hands and squirt the shirt. Airbrush tattoos also will be available for children.

UNIQUE SHOPPING VENDORS
A fair tradition, nearly 50 retail vendors will be selling unique and locally crafted items such as handmade Polish pottery, t-shirts, jewelry and handbags. 

ABOUT ORCHARD LAKE ST. MARY’S POLISH COUNTRY FAIR:

The St. Mary’s Polish Country Fair, the traditional start to Michigan summer, serves as host to more than 125,000 fun seekers each Memorial Day weekend.  The four-day fair will be held Fri., May 22 – Mon., May 25 and will be open 5p.m. - 11 p.m. Fri.; 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Sat.- Sun.; and 11 a.m.- 7 p.m. Mon..  Orchard Lake St. Mary’s is located at 3535 Indian Trail in Orchard Lake at the intersection of Commerce and Orchard Lake roads.  All weekend entertainment schedules and any additional public information can be found StMarysPolishCountryFair.com, on Twitter @St_Marys_Fair and on Facebook at Facebook.com/StMarysPolishCountryFair

Metro Detroit Mommy Blogger:

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