Reminiscing: the 2008 & 2009 Posen Potato Festival


This was the official site for the Posen Chamber of Commerce.
Content is from the site's 2008 -2009 archived pages as well as from other outside sources providing just a glimpse of what celebrating the annual Posen Potato Festival is all about.
For more than 50 years the Festivalhas celebrated the end of the harvest with free concerts, children's entertainment, a potato dish contest and a beauty pageant to choose Miss Posen.


A Peek Inside the 67th Posen Potato Festival

Posted on September 6th, 2018 |

Posted on September 6th, 2018

Local Experience Writer Lara King gives readers an inside look at a familiar favorite in Northeast Michigan. Alpena’s neighbor to the Northwest, Posen, has been celebrating the local potato harvest in Northeast Michigan for 67 years. Generations of families have grown up learning how to dance the polka, sharing family recipes for potato latkes, and celebrating the potato harvest with the annual Posen Potato Festival. Lara spoke to some local residents and shares the story of the Festival below. Enjoy!

The rural town of Posen, Michigan had an estimated population of 224 in 2016. During the weekend of the Posen Potato Festival, however, the population surges to several thousand! The first settlers in the small village were immigrants from Poland. Once they began their new lives in Posen, they were lonely for their relatives in their homeland. To persuade them to make the journey to Posen, they wrote about the abundance of land in letters but neglected to mention that the land was full of rocks. Fortunately, one crop that would grow on this type of land was potatoes, which quickly became a cash crop for the area.

My grandfather, Thomas Hoppe, who will turn 80 years old this September, remembers that the school closed for two weeks near the end of the potato growing season because the children were needed to help their families harvest the potatoes. The festival started as a celebration of the end of the harvest season. Mr. Kenneth Wozniak, from Stanley Wozniak Insurance in Posen, is much younger than my grandfather and recalls having one week off. According to Mr. Wozniak, picking the potatoes was ‘not a lot of fun’! Today, only the upperclassmen at Posen High School gets the day before and after the festival to help prepare for and clean.

Although the population and potato farms have decreased in numbers over the years, the celebrations have grown. Initially, there was only a parade and a party to celebrate. Now, the festival features live polka music, carnival rides, arts & crafts, spud run 5K and various potato-themed contests. The Potato Festival Queen has been a staple of the festival since its first year. The first queen was Blanche Wozniak, who was selected by selling a large number of tickets. Today, the queen earns her title (‘Miss Posen’) in a pageant and is featured in the Grand Parade.

The festival was originally held in October and over the years it was moved to September. It is a running joke that the weather has always cooperated with the festival. So far, it has never rained on the parade!

If you and your family are looking for a lovely drive and a traditional festival, head on over to the 67th Annual Posen Potato Festival, which will be held from September 7th to the 9th. 

The Posen Chamber of Commerce was organized in October, 1951.
Their current website can be found at:

Their 68th Annual Posen Potato Festival was held in 2019.


An aside: I attended my first Posen Potato Festival in 2018 with my fiancee who is from Posen. We signed up and participatedin the Spud Run which is really a 5K Walk/ Run event. It was certainly different from running in Central Park in Manhattan which is where I am from. I was knocked out watching the Bump-n-Run. Honestly I had never seen anything like it except perhaps in the movies.

The parade was a real small town parade with my fiancee's relatives riding in the parade. There were no really fancy vehicles, but a number of floats such as the Miss Posen pageant float. Some were just polished up heavy duty equipment used in various businesses around town. Of course there were bands. As with any successful small town festival there was good food, good music, carnival, arts & crafts, plus much more. Dancing to the poka bands was my favorite activity. I had been practicing different pokas with my fiancee for months before we went. Everyone in his family were great dancers and I didn't want to disappoint them. I wasn't sure what to pack for the trip, but was told these are small town folks so nothing fancy is required. I am glad I took one of my best ski jackets from North Face, just love that brand, since I was told the evenings could get chilly. I chose one of my lighter weight North Face ski jackets that I wear during spring skiing in Colorado and it was perfect. I suspect we will be making an annual trip to northern Michigan each year to visit family and to do some serious poka dancing.



Chamber of Commerce monthly meeting take place the first Wednesday
of every month at the Chamber Office
on East 634 Hwy. at 7:00 p.m.

Now for a nostalgic trip back to 2008-2009 Posen Potato Festival.

58th Posen Potato Festival

Friday, September 11, thru Sunday September 13, 2009
For More Information please call 989-766-8128


Posen Potato Festival - 2009

Polka Pavilion

Friday, Sept. 11th 2008 - Sunday, Sept. 13th 2009
This years performers will be!

Friday,September 11 

*Stephanie American Polka Sweetheart
(Depew,New York)
*Old School Polka Band
(Burton, Ohio)


Saturday, September 14
Noon- 6:00P.M.

*"Pan" Franek and Zosia
(Muskegon, Michigan)
*Natural Tones 
 ( Utica, Michigan)

Saturday,September 14

*Stephanie American Polka Sweetheart
(Depew,New York)
*Old School Polka Band
(Burton, Ohio)


Sunday, September 13
Noon- 6:00P.M.

*"Pan" Franek and Zosia
(Muskegon, Michigan)
*Natural Tones 
( Utica, Michigan)



Polka Pavilion

Friday, Sept. 11th 2008 - Sunday, Sept. 13th 2008

This years performers will be!

Friday,September 5 7:00P.M.-1:00A.M.
*John Stevens and Doubleshot 
(Swoyersville, Pennsylvna)
*Touch of Brass
(Toledo, Ohio)


Saturday, September 6 Noon- 6:00P.M.
*"Pan" Frank and Zosia
(Muskegon, Michigan)
*Kielbasa Kings 
 ( Dearborn, Michigan)

Saturday,September 6 7:00P.M.-1:00A.M. 
* John Stevens and Doubleshot 
(Swoyersville, Pennsylvna)
*Touch of Brass
(Toledo, Ohio)


Sunday, September 7
Noon- 6:00P.M.

*"Pan" Frank and Zosia
(Muskegon, Michigan)
*Kielbasa Kings 
( Dearborn, Michigan)


Country Western Tent

Saturday, Sept. 6th 2008

This years preformer will be Adam D. Tucker


Adams Artist Credits
*World Famous Wild Horse Saloon Entertainer
*Famous Ernest Tubb Texas Theater Entertainer
*Famous House Of Blues Entertainer
*All American Quarter Horse Congress Entertainer 
* Many More..........




Opening Act For
Trace Adkins
Charlie Daniels Tracy Byrd(6 times) Buddy Jewell(2 times) Josh Turner(3 times) Jo Dee Messina Darryl Worley(3 times) Confederate Railroad(2 shows) Diamound Rio
Many More......



Please support these fine partners of the Posen Chamber of Commerce



Randy, Laura and Nick Idalski

Gary Bisson

Alletta Misiak

Butch Woloszyk

Clem Misiak

Andrea Konwinski

Meg Romel

MaryEllen Wozniak

Ken Wozniak

Chuck Wozniak

Paulette Woloszyk

Carl and Pat Hoppe

Paul,Doris,Sarah,Matt,and Lindsay Ponik

Carleen Darga

Kenneth and Janice Pawelek

Lorraine Bronikowski

Dennis and Julie Misiak

Henry Francalossi

Judy and Mark Romel

Judy McFalda

Linda Sharpe

Keith Wright, DO

Thomas Allum, Do

Jennie Klingshirn

Ronald Stoinski

Frank Avent and William Avent

Bruce and Tina Wozniak

Ted and Dawn Cousins

Lorraine Smigelski

David and Shirley Budnick

John and Martha Misiak

Lisa Centala

Pat and Donna Couture

Stanley and Virginia Woznick

Dennis Goupell

Kris McTavish

Gary and Marie Wozniak

Barbara Ennest


Jay & Jackie Fisher

Raymond & Blanche Meyers

Clifford J Kelly

Robert & Gladys Purol

Denise Julian

Daniel & MaryAnn Mulka

Mary Goupell

Wally & Kate Donajkowski

Kathy Zaborney

Robert Allum, DO

Tammy Henigan, CFNP

Jeff & Kate Bruski

Tyler Hauff

Jason's Posen Quick Stop

ABC Homes of Alpena

Alpena Beverage Company

A-P Super Service

Alpena Cycle Club

Bayport Convenience

Art's Construction-Posen Memorials

Atlanta Chamber of Commerce

Alpena Chamber of Commerce

Ball Tire & Gas

Banner Realty

Beck Funeral Home

Cadillac Products Automotive Company

Cheboygan Chamber of Commerce

Culligan/D & M Waterworks

Century 21 Harbor Realty Team

Daniel Martin Law Office

Driftwood Motel

Dockside Printing

Dr. James Ryan, DDS


Grand Lake Resort


Harkins & Karsten OD's

Hirzel Sign Shop

Huron National Bank

Jewell's Disposal Service Inc.

John D Burtch-Attorney

K & K Electric Services Inc.

Lafarge-Alpena & Presque Isle

Maple Ridge Companies, Inc.

Nautical Lanes

Night Hawk Inn

Nowak's Window, Door & Cabinets

Onaway Community Credit Unions

Pine Lumber of Millersberg

Posen Pub

Posen Ace Hardware

Presque Isle Co. Council On Aging

Presque Isle Agency

Presque Isle Fair Association

Quality Repair

Route 65 Diner & Lounge

Rogers City Area Chamber of Commerce

Rogers City Do It Center

Rogers City Country Club

Skudlarek Dairy Farm

Sunrise Gardens & Grains

Thunder Bay Accounting

Thunder Bay Golf Course

WATZ/WRGZ Radio Stations

Besser Company

Calcite Credit Unions

Citizens Bank

Curtis Professional Eye Care

Clements Water Refining

Dick's Drywall & Texture

Doug Potter Chevy, Olds, Pontiac & Buick

Dr. Robert Taylor, DDS

Edward D. Jones

Grand Lake Daily Limit

Hall's Serv-All


Hillman Chamber of Commerce

Huron Distributors Inc.

Independent Bank's

John's Plumbing & Heating

K & J Alignment

Lappan Agency Inc.

Lighthouse Restaurant

McWilliams Funeral Home


Northeastern Transfer Inc.

Onaway Chamber of Commerce

Pepsi Cola

Plath's Meats, Inc.

Posen Knight of Columbus


Presque Isle Electric & Gas

Presque Isle Disrtict Library

Presue Isle Tourism Council

Real Estate One of Presque Isle

Richard's Clothing

Rogers City Home Furnishings

Rogers City Medical Group

Rygwelski's IGA


Stanley Wozniak Insurance Agency

TayBeck's Grill & Bar

Thunder Bay Community Health Services

Village Gift Shop

Zgorski Micketti Plumbing & Heating