No matter if you believe the festival started over a group of friends deciding to pay homage to their Eastern European heritage, or the coming together of the community over Mrs. Pierogi leaving her husband for Mr. Kielbasa, pretty much everyone can agree that the Pierogi Fest in the City of Whiting is the place to be every last weekend of July (24th, 25th, and 26th this year).
It’s a light-hearted celebration of the days of yore, with the high-sock wearing Lawnmower Drill Team strutting the street side-by-side with life-size Polish desserts and Buscias interacting with the nearly 200,000 attendees of the festival each year. But most of all, it’s a celebration of Whiting and its rich Eastern European heritage.
And this year’s celebration is packed with stages of entertainment, a beer garden, and of course, fun for the whole family. But with three days of packed entertainment you're best off with a good plan, so here’s the breakdown of the entertainment for the 2015 Whiting Pierogi Fest.
Highlights (all highlights besides the parade are on the Main Entertainment Stage):
The Pierogi Parade:
If you’re looking for a chance to see the Pierogi Queen in all her glory then Friday and the “Pierogi Parade” is the place to be at 7:00 PM. The parade begins right on 119th street and features the Lawnmower Drill Team, the Twirling Babushka Brigade, and the Original Lay-z Boy Float, just to name a few of the fun things you’ll get to see.
Mr. Pierogi Songfest:
Come see Mr. Pierogi and the Pieroguettes along with a cast of featured singers and guests perform some of their greatest hits ( “I Will Deep Fry” for one) and new soon-to-be classics at noon on Saturday the 25th.
Tough week at work? Then stop by the festival on Sunday 3:00 pm for the Pierogi Toss and take out your frustrations by dishing a deep-fried dumpling deep into the Whiting sky.
If you think Pierogis are made for devouring and not for throwing, then the eating contest Sunday at 3:30 pm is the event for you. Test your might and give it all you got for three minutes of all-out Pierogi stuffing and see if you have what it takes to be the King of Northwest Indiana Pierogi eating.
Other highlights include: The International Slovak Dancers at noon on Sunday on the Main Entertainment Stage; Whiting Idol at 4:30 pm on Saturday on the Main Entertainment Stage; Eastern Bloc Jeopardy at 11:00 am Sunday on the Main Entertainment Stage; and the Buscia’s Cooking Show at 11:00 am Saturday on the Main Entertainment Stage.
There will be free parking all over Whiting and a $1 park-and-ride schedule with stops at Calumet College and Clark High School. Handicapped parking will be available on New York Avenue north of 119th street along the school playground. For the trolley schedule, driving directions from Chicago and Indianapolis, and hotel information click here.
The hours of the festival are 11:00 am to 10:00 pm on Friday and Saturday, and 11:00 am to 5:00 pm on Sunday.