MANISTEE — A crowd of around 250 adults are expected to fill the Wagoner Community Center between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. on July 3 for its annual Forest Festival Kickoff Party.

The event consists of four hours of food, music and dancing that puts all those attending in the right frame of mind to enjoy the Manistee National Forest Festival in the following days. The Wagoner Community Center, located at 260 St. Mary Parkway in Manistee, has ample parking and easy access to the building.

Tickets are on sale for $15 per person at the Wagoner Community Center until they sell out. The Forest Festival Kickoff Party is open to any adult, even if they are not a Manistee County resident.

Mia Platz, senior center executive assistant to the director, said they have some familiar names handling the food and entertainment for the party.

“Jerry Zupin Catering will be catering the food and it will include the standard things like baked chicken, bratwurst, Polish sausage, potato salad and all the good stuff,” said Platz. “The food will be served up buffet style.”

Platz said a familiar name in Manistee and the polka dancing world will once again provide the music for dancing this year.

“Butch Baker and the Just 4 Fun Band will be providing the music,” said Platz. “It’s an opportunity for people to have something good to eat, listen to the music and get up and dance.”

The Just 4 Fun Band has been performing for many years in this area and play all the favorite toe-tapping polka numbers that people enjoy.

The party gives people the opportunity to see old friends and making new ones as well. Platz said everyone attending is guaranteed to have a good time.

Ticket sales for the event began on June 3, and Platz urged people not to wait to get them. They will most likely sell out before the event, and having a head count helps determine how much food will be needed.

During the party there also will be a 50/50 raffle and door prizes.

“We are looking for another great party and it should be a fun day for everyone who attends, so we encourage everyone to get their tickets as soon as possible,” said Platz.

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