ALPENA — Kids and adults alike had a blast at the Posen Potato Festival this weekend, as the rides, games, polka music, and arts and crafts show were popular attractions.
There was also a large variety of food and beverages, which made it easy for people to spend the entire day at the festival so as to not miss a minute of the action.
Jeremy Thompson, of Standish, said his family was visiting Northeast Michigan at a cabin near Cheboygan and decided to make a day trip to Posen to attend the festival and give his three children a chance to enjoy the rides. He said his wife Susan also had fun walking through the line of vendors.
Thompson said his family stumbled across Posen and the festival a few years ago and have returned several times since then.
“We have family in the area and we’re driving down M-65 to go visit and when we drove through Posen, the festival was going on,” Thompson said. “We stopped just for a little bit, but the kids had fun, so we came back the next year. We always visit the area this time of year and we usually try to come.”
Walking through the midway, there were more than a handful of rides and also games giving people a chance to win prizes. In the background, polka music played in the pavilion and the smell of Polish food and American fare filled the air.
Trina Smolt said she usually spends two days at the festival, Saturday and Sunday, with her favorite event being the parade on Sunday.
“It’s always a blast and we always love the parade, especially the kids who fight for the candy,” Smolt said. “We try to include it in our end of summer plans, but we don’t always make it. This year, things just fell right for me at work to bring the kids.”
The festival included many events, such as a burnout competition on Friday, a country concert, and demolition derby, each drawing large crowds.
Tim Landcaster said he enjoys the smashing and crashing of the demolition derby, because it reminds him of when he used to enter his own cars into derbies years ago.
“I wish I could still do it, but I really don’t have the time anymore to work on the cars and travel as much as I used to,” he said. “I still enjoy watching, but it isn’t the same thrill of being in the car and trying to take someone out. It’s still fun though.”
The Posen Potato Festival is recognized locally as the last big event of the summer before people’s minds drift toward hunting season and the holidays.
Rodney Horn, a resident of the Wolverine area, said the festival is a good way to put a cap on the summer, but admitted he is ready for autumn.
“Summer went by fast, but I’m ready for fall,” Horn said. “This sort of sends summer out with a bang and ushers in fall at the same time.”