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Festival draws thousands to the Thumb for fried bologna sandwiches and outhouse races

bologna kings and queens
Courtesy of Barbie Stasick
The royal court at the 2017 Yale Bologna Festival.


Stateside continues its look at unusual Michigan festivals with The Yale Bologna Festival, which draws thousands of attendees to Michigan's Thumb to honor the beloved lunchmeat. 

 The weekend-long event will be celebrating its 30th year anniversary this month. 

Barbie Stasick is the event coordinator for the Yale Bologna Festival. She joined Stateside’s Cynthia Canty to discuss the history of the festival and some of its “bologna-centric” events. 

According to Stasick, “Yale bologna” dates back to the early 1800s, when many Polish and German immigrants arrived in the area. 

The city still has its own bologna manufacturer, C. Roy. The company donates two tons of bologna to the festival each year. 

“We do have our very own Yale Chamber of Commerce Bologna tent, and under the bologna big top, you can have the best fried bologna sandwiches you’ve ever had, besides what mama used to make,” Stasick said. “And it just brings back some wonderful memories for those of us who grew up on fried bologna sandwiches.”

This year's festivities will kick off on Thursday, July 26 and run through Sunday, July 29. 

Listen above to hear the full interview with Yale Bologna Festival event coordinator Barbie Stasick.

This post was written by Stateside production assistant Sophie Sherry. 

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