Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy 4th!!

I can’t really believe that it’s all ready the 4th of July. This summer is flying by…a little too quick for my liking! I love spending the fourth on or near water, whether it’s an ocean, lake or pool. If water’s included, you can count me in! For the fourth holiday, my boyfriend, Carl, and I usually like to spend it “Up North”. In Michigan terms, that’s anyplace in Northern Michigan. For us, we are blessed that my parents own a little slice of heaven on Lake Leelanau, just on the outskirts of Ceder, Michigan.

{If you look at your left hand, we’re in the nail of your pinky finger.}

{Lake Leelanau}

I absolutely love, love, love being Up North. The clean air, the beaches, the wineries, the cherries (Cherry Republic is EVERYTHING cherry), the sand dunes, Lake Michigan, the little towns that dot the coast line, the water, the sunshine…it’s my happy place. To us, we call it “Pure Michigan”.
{Lake Michigan, at the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park}
In the town that our family cottage is in, Cedar, is a Polish Community and also is known for the annual Polka Fest. Four whole days of nothing but Polish dancing, Polish food and of course, beverges. It’s absolutely fantastic, so much fun!! Last year, I even saw Carter Oosterhouse, HGTV’s host of Carter Can. I was so stunned that HE was in MY small town in Northern Michigan – we normally don’t see any celebrities!
Here’s some background of the Polka fest:
The Cedar Polka Festival originated from a suggestion. In 1975, a few members of the Polish Legion of American Veterans (PLAV) from Dearborn, Michigan were vacationing vacationing in Leelanau County and learned that Cedar was a Polish community. At that point Cedar had not yet organized any public celebration of its Polish heritage. They approached the Chamber of Commerce and suggested a standard heritage festival with Polish music, dancing, and food. The Chamber liked the idea and began organizing their first ever Polish Festival to take place on the evening of Tuesday, August 26, 1975. The second annual Cedar Polish Festival was held on Thursday, August 26, 1976, and the third on August 28, 1977.
After the Festival in 1977, the Cedar Polish Festival was suspended. The organizers knew they needed to restructure the festival. In 1982, a new format for the Polish Festival was introduced. First, they renamed it the Cedar Polka Festival. The Chamber erected a tent over the local tennis courts for vendors and games to go beyond the street, and it became a weekend event rather than a single weeknight. In 1989 the Polkafest was extended to four days from three.
The Polka Festival has become a signature event in Leelanau. In 1999, nearly 40,000 people attended from near and far. The Cedar Polka Festival has grown into one of the largest and best events for Polka music and attracts enthusiasts from all over. (
To throw in a little extra fun, my girlfriend and I went to the nail salon and had a little American spirit painted on our nails. I’ve got the blue accent nail on the left. I love it!

Have a fun, safe and most of all, cool 4th!!
xo Kate

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