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July 27, 2018 @ 8:00 am - July 29, 2018 @ 5:00 pm
The Whiting Pierogi Fest™ is presented annually by the Whiting-Robertsdale Chamber of Commerce. Drawing almost 300,000 visitors each year, Pierogi Fest™ is the pride of Whiting, IN. It welcomes all to celebrate our heritage while poking a little fun at ourselves at the same time.
Where else can you see grown women dressed up like our grandmothers (buscias, as we say) in housecoats and babushkas? Or the lawnmower brigade strutting through town with sandals and socks on like our dads did?
You’ll also see life-size polish pastries and goodies walking and talking waiting to take a picture with you.
Pierogi Fest™ began when Marty Dybel, Tom Dabertin and Darlene Beerling sat down one afternoon to discuss Marty’s idea to creating a festival that celebrated Whiting-Robertsdale’s ethnic heritage, including family memories, customs and food. It was decided it would be a real honor to their ancestors to celebrate and retain part of that special heritage.
All they needed was a symbol to pin it on. That symbol was the innocent and darling little Eastern European dumpling: the pierogi (or pirohi, depending on your grandma). Some people still trill the “r” when they say it, just like buscia and jaja did.
Listen to Mr. Pierogi tell the story and it starts a little differently. “I’ve had a lot of people ask me over the years how I got the gig. I remember it differently than a group of people sitting around reminiscing about their grandmothers. You see, back in the mid 1990s my wife, the beautiful Mrs. Pierogi left me for Mr. Kielbasa, for what many think are obvious reasons. I was so depressed about the incident that the town of Whiting gathered around to help ease my sorrows. In what some might consider effigy, I burned her likeness, and found that the little buggers were actually quite tasty. The town’s folk had such a good time that they decided to make the party a yearly event.”