Saturday, May 23, 2015

Family Fun at the Orchard Lake St. Mary's Polish Country Fair

The Orchard Lake St. Mary's Polish Country Fair
I am not a carnival person. I was as a kid, but I lost my interest in carnival food and fair rides sometime during my twenties. Knowing my daughters would enjoy the Orchard Lake St. Mary's Polish Country Fair, I put my disdain for fairs aside and took my family to the first night of the fair last night.

Traffic was a little heavy near the fair, but we arrived at 6:00 p.m., when rush hour traffic usually is bad on Commerce and Orchard Lake roads. Parking is free on the school's campus, and admission is $5 per person, or $10 per family. To go on the rides, visitors need to buy tickets, but the best deal is a $30 pass that lasts the whole weekend. Visitors can also buy a book of 22 tickets for $25, or individual tickets (that I believe were $1.50 each). Rides cost between 2 tickets for the small kids' rides to 4 tickets for the most popular rides like the Ferris wheel and roller coaster.

The fair has two tall Ferris wheels, and both our daughters enjoyed the views from the top of one of them.

The view from the top of the Ferris wheel
The fair has a lot of options for small kids to ride with parents, and our six-year-old was tall enough to go on several rides alone since the low-end height limit for most of the kids' rides is 42 inches.

One of the many kid-friendly rides
The fair has a great collection of food vendors, from traditional carnival food like elephant ears to local restaurants. The main food tent also sells beer and alcoholic beverages. The most popular food stand sold Polish food, including the Polish Combo Dinner (1 kielbasa, 3 pierogi, stuffed cabbage, bread, a pickle, and sauerkraut) for $10. We split two Polish combos during a break from the rides.

Mmmm...Polish food.
The school has a long Polish-American tradition, and several vendors sell Polish-themed books, clothing, and pottery, as well as Polish food. The fair also features a large selection of carnival games, and bands perform throughout the weekend on the main tent's stage.

My kids had a great time, and the only way we could convince them to leave quietly was by promising Michigan-made Guernsey ice cream from the main tent on the way out. Upon exiting Orchard Lake St. Mary's onto Indian Trail, we were greeted with a calming sunset to conclude our active evening.

A peaceful conclusion to an active evening
My six-year-old daughter has asked if we can go back next year, but this former fair hater is thinking about going back on Monday.

For more information about the Orchard Lake St. Mary's Polish Country fair, please visit its website.

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