ORCHARD LAKE, Mich. (WXYZ ) — The Orchard Lake Saint Mary’s Prep Annual Polish fair brought more than 100,000 people together each year pre-pandemic to raise money for the school and celebrate Polish culture during the last weekend in May. This year the fair once again is being canceled.
“We went through about a pallet or 5 thousand sausages per day,” said David Hubbard, owner of The Butchery.
Hubbard for a time served as the official chef of the event, making not just sausages, but also recipes passed on by elders connected to the Polish Mission. His business offers many meats, including Polish fare.
“It was always the biggest thing,” said Hubbard. “COVID happened and in 2020 it didn’t happen. Everybody kind of expected it. You are like, okay it is on pause. Because the country is on pause. Then 2021 happened and they are canceling it this year. And there are saying there are concerns with safety. It is sad.”
Orchard Lake Saint Mary’s sent a letter to its parents' group a few months ago sharing that the event has been canceled because ”There have been a growing number of safety concerns at school events both on and off-campus with surrounding communities over the past 12 months. As a result, we consulted with local authorities at the Orchard Lake Police Department, who also expressed serious safety and security concerns with holding the fair this year.”
While the letter was set some time ago - you will find there are still postings advertising the event online - that many outside the school community have attended.
“Over 100 thousand annually. That is a big influx for the town if you will,” said Hubbard.
The School’s Headmaster Bob Pyles refused to answer questions.
Police say they know of no specific threats, but they, in general, have concerns about large gatherings in “today’s climate.”