Indiana’s largest three-day festival, Pierogi Fest® in Whiting will serve up five million pierogis, two million sausages, 10,000 gallons of soft drinks, and 3,000 gallons of beer to more than 400,000 smiling faces through the duration of the festival this year.
“Ninety plus food vendors make us one of the largest food festivals in the Midwest,” Tom Dabertin, Pierogi Fest® chairman, said. Since the festivals beginning in 1994, Oprah has named it one of her top seven favorite summer things, and it has been featured on the Food Network, Travel Channel and the CBS Network.
“We have fun with being light-hearted and tongue-in-cheek,” Dabertin said. “That’s the secret to our success.”
Each year, long-running favorites are featured, including the wacky Polka Parade, Mr. Pierogi® and friends, specialty vendors, beer and wine gardens, games, entertainment and fun for all ages. Pierogi Fest® welcomes all to celebrate Eastern European heritage with a wacky twist. Where else can you see grown women dressed like their grandmothers (Buscias, as they say) in housecoats and babushkas? Or a lawnmower brigade strutting through town with sandals and socks like their dads? Or life-size Polish pastries walking and talking waiting to take a picture with you.
Last year’s parade carried a wave of pierogi-filled fervor through downtown Whiting, celebrating 25 years of madcap tradition. An institution one year older than the festival, the parade has drawn spectators from Poland, Germany, Canada, Australia, and Japan.
This year’s event takes place July 26, 27, and 28. For more information go to www.pierogifest.net and follow @pierogifest on social media.