ORCHARD LAKE, Mich. - The 42nd annual St. Mary's Polish Country Fair returns to Orchard Lake on Memorial Day Weekend, Friday, May 24 - Monday, May 27 as the official kickoff to summer. Keeping with tradition, general admission remains free of charge.
The Fair will offer a wide range of entertainment from top local bands such as the Mega 80's and 50 Amp Fuse, a Vegas-style gambling tent, a large selection of mouth-watering authentic Polish cuisine, dancing and carnival rides.
The fair will be open: Friday, 5 p.m. - 11 p.m.; Saturday - Sunday, 11 a.m. - 11 p.m.; and Monday, 11 a.m. - 7 p.m.
Admission to the Fair is free and parking is $10 per vehicle on the grounds of St. Mary's.
All-day ride passes can be purchased at the gate for $25 or in advance at any participating Meijer store location for $20.
Hosted and sponsored by St. Mary's Preparatory, the fair is the school's largest fundraiser and the nations largest high school fair, attracting more than 100,000 visitors each year. Proceeds support student initiatives and help maintain and improve the 26 historic buildings that span across the pristine 120-acre campus.
"The students, staff and alumni look forward to hosting this festival every year," said Jim "Glo" Glowacki, headmaster of St. Mary's and host of the annual gathering. "This family-friendly weekend has become a highly anticipated event, bringing together generations of families throughout our community."
From toddlers and children to great-grandparents, the Fair provides something for everyone this year. Activities include live entertainment, along with a mix of great food and family-centered activities throughout the weekend.
AUTHENTIC POLISH FOOD OFFERINGS
Polish food takes center stage at St. Mary's Polish Country Fair. An expansive menu 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.
Food prices range from $2-$10. The Polish Combo Plate allows patrons to sample many of the Polish favorites and is priced at $10. The Polish Combo Plate includes:
Polish sausage served on a bun
Choice of three pierogi
Golabki (stuffed cabbage)
Separately, a large selection of traditional American fair food, such as hamburgers, corndogs, fresh baked goods, smoothies and ice-cold adult beverages will also be available.
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 LINE-UP IS MUSIC TO THE EARS
From Top 40 and Rock'n Blues Funk to Jazz and Polka Rock, there's something for everyone at this year's fair:
Friday, May 24:
5:00 p.m. Orchard Lake St. Mary's Jazz Ensemble (Jazz)
6:00 p.m. The Night Hawks Jazz Orchestra (Jazz)
8:00 p.m. The Hips (Classic Rock)
9:30 p.m. Persuasion (R&B/Pop/Rock)
Saturday, May 25:
12:00 p.m. Polish Muslims (Polka Rock)
3:30 p.m. Infatuations (Pop/Rock/Funk)
5:30 p.m. Divine Union (Classic Rock)
8:00 p.m. Fifty Amp Fuse (Top 40)
Sunday, May 26:
12:00 p.m. Big Daddy & The La De Das (Polka)
3:00 p.m. Kenny Watson (R&B/Pop)
4:15 p.m. Sean Blackman (Latin Jazz)
6:00 p.m. Hot Sauce (R&B/Pop)
8:15 p.m. MEGA 80's (80's Hits)
Monday, May 27:
12:00 p.m. Bugs Beddow Band (Trombone Driven R&B)
2:00 p.m. Toppermost (Beatle's/Stg. Pepper Tribute)
4:00 p.m. Roots Vibration (Reggae/Caribbean)
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, Big Wheel and Texas Hold'em.
Parents and professionals will serve as the dealers for all tables. A cash bar with adult beverages will be available for individuals 21 years and older who will be required to wear a wristband. Admission to get inside the tent is $5 per person and identification is required.
Those who wish to gamble can pay cash in exchange for playing chips. The cash-out limit is $500. The Vegas tent hours are Friday, 7 p.m. - 1 a.m.; Saturday - Sunday, 6 p.m. - 1 a.m.; and Monday, 3 p.m. - 7 p.m.
A Texas Hold'em tournament will take place Friday, 9 p.m. - 11 p.m.; Saturday, 9 p.m. - 11 p.m.; and Sunday, time TBD, with information on the Fair's website. Half of the buy-in money will go toward the school and the other half will go to the player. On Friday, there is a $25 buy-in and a $25 buy-back opportunity; the winner will receive more than $1,000. Saturday will be a $50 buy-in with a $25 buy-back; the winner will receive more than $2,000. On Sunday, an alumni championship will be held, which will be open to the public, with a $25 buy-in and a $25 buy-back. The winner will receive more than $1,000. Each tournament will have 100 seats available.
Fair visitors can also try their luck at a fast-paced game of bingo in a separate Bingo tent and win cash prizes. Bingo cards are $1.50 each.
CARNIVAL RIDES, GAMES AND AN EXPANDED KIDS AREA
Daredevils will enjoy the fair's 80-foot roller coaster. In addition, the fair offers more than 40 Midway rides with plenty of thrill rides and Merry-go-Rounds, as well as 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 consisting of many unique and locally crafted items will be available for sale. Nearly 50 vendors will sell handmade Polish pottery items, t-shirts, jewelry and handbags.
The return of the St. Mary's Polish Country Fair is made possible with the generous support of many sponsors, including Meijer, Powers Distributing, Community EMS, DMC Huron Valley-Sinai Hospital and LaFontaine Automotive Group.
A special thanks to our media sponsors, which include FOX 2, The Oakland Press, WWJ-AM and FreeIsMyLife.com.
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 110,000 fun seekers each Memorial Day weekend. The four-day Fair will be held Friday, May 24 - Monday, May 27 and will be open from (5 p.m. - 11 p.m. on Friday; 11 a.m. - 11 p.m. on Saturday - Sunday; and 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. on Monday). 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.