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Pierogi Festival in Whiting, IN - 7-27 thru 29-07

Pierogi Festival in Whiting, IN - 7-27 thru 29-07
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  • Pierogi Festival in Whiting, IN - 7-27 thru 29-07

    Post #1 - July 11th, 2007, 9:42 am
    Post #1 - July 11th, 2007, 9:42 am Post #1 - July 11th, 2007, 9:42 am
    Sounds like fun! (just over the border)

    http://www.pierogifest.net/

    I caught a clip on (I think) Unwrapped over the weekend.
  • Post #2 - July 11th, 2007, 9:48 am
    Post #2 - July 11th, 2007, 9:48 am Post #2 - July 11th, 2007, 9:48 am
    http://lthforum.com/bb/viewtopic.php?t= ... ierogifest

    Nicely documented here as well.
  • Post #3 - July 14th, 2007, 12:31 pm
    Post #3 - July 14th, 2007, 12:31 pm Post #3 - July 14th, 2007, 12:31 pm
    We love that area. We were just talking about heading over that way and now we will have an excuse.

    This is going on the schedule.
    Really? There was a decade called the 60's. I must have missed it.
  • Post #4 - July 25th, 2007, 3:55 pm
    Post #4 - July 25th, 2007, 3:55 pm Post #4 - July 25th, 2007, 3:55 pm
    Is anyone going to Pierogi Fest this weekend?What do they have to eat besides .................pierogi's?
  • Post #5 - July 26th, 2007, 8:07 am
    Post #5 - July 26th, 2007, 8:07 am Post #5 - July 26th, 2007, 8:07 am
    noodles and cabbage with lots of butter. Delicious.
  • Post #6 - July 26th, 2007, 8:19 am
    Post #6 - July 26th, 2007, 8:19 am Post #6 - July 26th, 2007, 8:19 am
    Hi,

    I plan to go tomorrow evening for the parade.

    Here is a report from last year.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
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  • Post #7 - July 26th, 2007, 3:33 pm
    Post #7 - July 26th, 2007, 3:33 pm Post #7 - July 26th, 2007, 3:33 pm
    Many of our fellow diners at the Jains dinner spoke highly of Pierogi Fest. Unfortunately I don't think it fits in our schedule this weekend, sometimes it sucks being a caterer.
    FIG Catering, For Intimate Gatherings
    Our website
    Our blog
    molly@FIGcatering.com
  • Post #8 - July 26th, 2007, 4:26 pm
    Post #8 - July 26th, 2007, 4:26 pm Post #8 - July 26th, 2007, 4:26 pm
    figmolly wrote:Many of our fellow diners at the Jains dinner spoke highly of Pierogi Fest.


    You might find a few pierogis that would not violate Jain dietary restrictions...maybe plum, wait, no, that has a huge seed, ditto cherry. Perhaps cabbage. Don't even think about the kielbasa. :D
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #9 - July 26th, 2007, 8:05 pm
    Post #9 - July 26th, 2007, 8:05 pm Post #9 - July 26th, 2007, 8:05 pm
    It looks like my bride and I will be attending on Saturday.

    Mmmm... :)
  • Post #10 - July 26th, 2007, 10:23 pm
    Post #10 - July 26th, 2007, 10:23 pm Post #10 - July 26th, 2007, 10:23 pm
    In anticipation of the Pierogi fest, MJN assessed the Chicago pierogi options with Steve Zavesky, two-time winner of P-fest's pierogi eating contest.

    Unfortunately, TOC's web server is cranky at the moment, so you'll have to look at the print copy or find the link yourself later.
    Joe G.

    "Whatever may be wrong with the world, at least it has some good things to eat." -- Cowboy Jack Clement
  • Post #11 - July 26th, 2007, 10:27 pm
    Post #11 - July 26th, 2007, 10:27 pm Post #11 - July 26th, 2007, 10:27 pm
    germuska wrote:In anticipation of the Pierogi fest, MJN assessed the Chicago pierogi options with Steve Zavesky, two-time winner of P-fest's pierogi eating contest.

    Unfortunately, TOC's web server is cranky at the moment, so you'll have to look at the print copy or find the link yourself later.


    I was glad Smak Tak got the laurels -- they deserved to be "saved."
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #12 - July 27th, 2007, 12:58 pm
    Post #12 - July 27th, 2007, 12:58 pm Post #12 - July 27th, 2007, 12:58 pm
    Unless an unforseen event (such as a heavy rain) arises, I expect to be at the fest this evening at about 6-6:30 p.m.
  • Post #13 - July 28th, 2007, 12:25 am
    Post #13 - July 28th, 2007, 12:25 am Post #13 - July 28th, 2007, 12:25 am
    Well - it didn't rain and I did make it to the fest.

    The event is very local in many aspects: friends/neighbors dressing-up, acting silly, poking fun at themselves and having a good time while doing all of that. The event is very small town in character, and that's what makes it so much fun. I half-expected to see the characters from the movie 'Animal House' rampage through the parade event. Calling the parade a parade, however, is an act of kindness.

    Here are some of the photos I took:

    Image

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    Image

    Image

    Image

    Image

    Image

    The crowd in attendance was huge - almost uncomfortably so. Lines at the pierogis stands were long - maybe 15-30 deep at each, which made it difficult/challenging to get something to eat. One needs lots of patience.

    I sampled potato, sauerkraut, beef/pork, mushroom and a couple other varieties and enjoyed the pierogis. My camera didn't work well at times so I missed the opportunity to take more photos - particularly photos of what I had on my plate.

    I don't think I've been in a place prior to tonight where so many people of Polish heritage have gathered at the same time, and it was fun. It was also nice to visit a community I've only driven through before, without stopping - and to see what was once a thriving business district with interesting architecture/construction (hey, how about that movie theater?), and some nice homes.

    Good food, good/fun people to share some time with and a learning experience. It was a good evening. Thanks to those of you who've spoken of this event this year, and in the past - for bringing it to my attention.
  • Post #14 - July 29th, 2007, 9:39 am
    Post #14 - July 29th, 2007, 9:39 am Post #14 - July 29th, 2007, 9:39 am
    HI,

    We got to Whiting around 6:40, then proceeded to the remote parking lots promising shuttle rides to the event. Around 7 PM we could hear the parade starting in the distance, though no shuttle bus in sight. When it finally arrived just after 7 PM, the volunteer informed there would be no shuttle service until after the parade. We moved the car a bit closer, then walked. As we approached, everyone was walking away advising the parade was over.

    We proceeded to walk toward the festival where we caught up with the parade. We saw Steve Baskerville from Channel 2, the precision lawn mower team and the Babushka Squad. We also saw the Paris Hill-Ton float with a woman stuffed in a two-ton tess rubber suit clad in thong underwear. When we were waiting in line, everyone was tittering over the potential loss of not seeing the Babushka squad. The Babushka Squad wore loose fitting house dresses, hose rolled up with rubberbands, sensible shoes and babushkas wrapped on their heads. They had several dance routines done with exuberance. We saw them all because our ability to pierce through the crowd came to a snail's pace once we were at Babushka Squad. This is a small parade with tremedous wit and personality.

    We hardly ate anything at the Pierogi Fest. What we were looking for and was willing to stand in line for was not present: Gyro pierogi, pig roast or the tent with the large griddles outside making Polish noodles. Standing in lines 20-40 people deep just wasn't in the cards. For those who enjoy Pineapple Whips, they were situated in a trailer in a closed intersection.

    The big find of the evening was coming across a John's Pizza booth. They were offering brochetta and selling jars of John's Marinara Sauce. I bought one, then bent the guy's ear with my questions on their John's pedigree. He is opening soon a John's Restaurant "Pizza, Pasta & More" in Whiting in the very near future. He said he was a franchisee of the John's Restaurant in Calumet City. When I asked about the other John's in the region, he said the one true John's is the take out in Munster owned and operated by the founding family. The new, soon to open Johns will be at:

    John's Restaurant
    2356 Schrage
    Whiting, IN
    Tel: 219/659-1046

    I will continue on the John's issue on the John's thread.

    We did briefly visit the John's in Muncie just after they had closed orders for the evening. When they suggested Appleby's as a next best place to eat, we continued our wandering. We ended up at the Three Floyd's Brewery just after the kitchen closed. ReneG enjoyed a few beers. I drank a Coke to top off the paczki eaten earlier, then gave up on having dinner.

    Next year, I will come earlier for the Pierogi Parade, leave for dinner elsewhere and return over the weekend for the food. As Bill stated above, there was an insane amount of people. It is also very understandable why people would come because it is indeed a terrific parade.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #15 - July 29th, 2007, 11:08 am
    Post #15 - July 29th, 2007, 11:08 am Post #15 - July 29th, 2007, 11:08 am
    We got there early Friday as suggested by my sister in law.A great move got all the pierogis we could eat before the lines became an issue.Very good fair food with the pierogis ,shishka bobs ,polish dinners and the like.The problem was the variety wasn't there.The parade was a non event very poor for such a well attended event.I would have thought with such a large mexican population in Whiting there would have been more latin cuisine.Thanks to Cathy 2's suggestion I had the pineapple whip which was a real highlight.Next year if I go itsd get there early,eat and hit the beer tent during the parade and leave during the end of the parade.In these health police days I liked having the cigar booth there.Also a special thanks to Cathy 2 for her John's Pizzaria reporting.I always thought all pizzas were cut that way until I left Calumet City.
    As far as why John's closed in Calumet City they are right the old customer base has died or moved away.Calumet City used to be a mostly white ethnic community and now is majority African American and the support wasn't there.The building hosts a soul food restaurant last I saw.To many eastern European ethnic white people John's was their introduction to Italian food.It was essentially pizza and red sauce on pasta kind of place.Many of these establishments are falling by the wayside as many diners are looking for more in their Italian dining.I still love the pizza though.
    Looking forward the the opening of the Four Winds Casino in New Buffalo,Michigan this week and reporting on their dining choices.I took a tour a few weeks ago they will be having a high end steak restaurant a high end seafood restaurant ,coffee shop and buffet plus extra amenities for the high rollers.We will see if it is any different than the other casinos.
  • Post #16 - August 1st, 2007, 2:03 pm
    Post #16 - August 1st, 2007, 2:03 pm Post #16 - August 1st, 2007, 2:03 pm
    Stopped by on Saturday about noon with my bride.

    What a fun circus! :)

    The main drag was about 6 to 8 blocks long with a pierogi stand or two every block. There were many other food offerings as well.

    The lines were long at the pierogi booths with a half of an hour wait not uncommon. For the most part my bride would sit at one of the entertainment venues and I would go wait in line (at Kasia's) and bring the food back.

    The entertainment? There was a magician/juggler for a while, dragging kids from the audience to be a part of the act. Following that there were the traditional dancers and were quite good.

    Mr Pierogi and the calendar girls (older ladies with house dresses, aprons, babushkas and house slippers) parading and dancing about and signing autographs.

    Too much fun! :)

    I did try some chicken and noodles and missed out on the cabbage and noodle dish. The place I got the pierogis had a potato pancake plate with 3 big ones on it which was too much so I missed out on that as well.

    Without the entertainment it would be hard to justify the long lines but all in all a day well spent! Even met up with Old Rocker and family while we were there.
    "Make Lunch, Not War" ~ Anon
  • Post #17 - August 1st, 2007, 3:15 pm
    Post #17 - August 1st, 2007, 3:15 pm Post #17 - August 1st, 2007, 3:15 pm
    "World's Largest Pierog(i)"
    Image

    The highlight of my summer, needless to say.
  • Post #18 - August 1st, 2007, 6:44 pm
    Post #18 - August 1st, 2007, 6:44 pm Post #18 - August 1st, 2007, 6:44 pm
    Rene G wrote:"World's Largest Pierog(i)"
    Image

    The highlight of my summer, needless to say.


    I heartily second that, Rene G. I mean how do you top a 78 lb. pierogi (that's 35.38 Kilos to you and me)?

    The only possibility are the meat pierogies from Dan's. Fantastic. The meat was a dead ringer for my late grandmother's superb kreplach filling. I'm still trying to figure out whether they used liver or not.


    Dan's Pierogies
    218 Rt. 30
    Schererville, IN
    (219) 322-1144
    (carry out only)
  • Post #19 - August 2nd, 2007, 6:55 am
    Post #19 - August 2nd, 2007, 6:55 am Post #19 - August 2nd, 2007, 6:55 am
    HI,

    I'm glad the main event was recorded: world's largest pierog(i). Did you get the recipe?

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #20 - August 2nd, 2007, 3:55 pm
    Post #20 - August 2nd, 2007, 3:55 pm Post #20 - August 2nd, 2007, 3:55 pm
    Cathy2 wrote: Did you get the recipe?

    According to a banner at Pierogi Fest, the World's Largest Pierogi was made from 1 dozen eggs, 10 pounds of onions, 16 pounds of butter, 23 pounds of flour, and 45 pounds of potato filling. Oddly the finished product reportedly weighed only 78 pounds (from over 94 pounds of ingredients).

    Image

    Image

    There seem to be other versions of the story. In a NWI Times article a different recipe is listed and it's reported as 48x35 inches and 100 pounds. The article goes on to say (incorrectly) the megadumpling was cut up and served afterwards. My pictures were taken on Sunday after the pierog had been sitting out nearly a full day. No one would have wanted a slice of that.
  • Post #21 - August 2nd, 2007, 6:06 pm
    Post #21 - August 2nd, 2007, 6:06 pm Post #21 - August 2nd, 2007, 6:06 pm
    HI,

    Clearly it was assembled, but did they actually cook it too?

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #22 - August 3rd, 2007, 8:51 pm
    Post #22 - August 3rd, 2007, 8:51 pm Post #22 - August 3rd, 2007, 8:51 pm
    Cathy2 wrote:Clearly it was assembled, but did they actually cook it too?

    Good question. My understanding is that it was boiled but not fried (see the NWI Times article linked to above). In the pictures above, the great dumpling rests on a stainless steel platform that could be lowered into a large vat of hot water (visible to the right of the pierog). I'm not certain this was actually done however. Searching the internet, I found some pictures of the finished WLP but none of its construction. I hope someone who was there on Saturday can give us a firsthand report.
  • Post #23 - August 3rd, 2007, 11:49 pm
    Post #23 - August 3rd, 2007, 11:49 pm Post #23 - August 3rd, 2007, 11:49 pm
    When my bride and I were leaving (about 4 on Saturday) we saw a commotion in the area of the giant pierogi. The crowd was too thick to see what was happening.

    After a few minutes the commotion was over and I was able to see a flat cover on a pierogi shaped metal tank.

    There was no steam that I remember.
    "Make Lunch, Not War" ~ Anon
  • Post #24 - August 4th, 2007, 2:31 pm
    Post #24 - August 4th, 2007, 2:31 pm Post #24 - August 4th, 2007, 2:31 pm
    Pierogi fest was a lot of fun. Could not decide what kind to have so had a few of each. It was nice to see Freddy's there doing steak sandwiches. Saw Panther as we were leaving. Those local fests can be so much fun and this one was. Will go back next year. Thanks for the heads up on this one.
    Really? There was a decade called the 60's. I must have missed it.
  • Post #25 - August 4th, 2007, 2:45 pm
    Post #25 - August 4th, 2007, 2:45 pm Post #25 - August 4th, 2007, 2:45 pm
    Why, I do believe the potato pancake maestra depicted in one of Bill's excellent photos:

    Image

    ...is the same one I photographed at Ukrainian Fest last year:

    Image

    Admittedly, how many traveling latke makers can there be?
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  • Post #26 - August 5th, 2007, 11:47 pm
    Post #26 - August 5th, 2007, 11:47 pm Post #26 - August 5th, 2007, 11:47 pm
    Mike, the camera doesn't lie; unless I've deveoped some vision problems lately, it's the same woman. The latke's this gal was making looked fabulous - and had the line to get one (and/or the pierogi's at the same stand) not been 35 deep . . . I would have tested a couple of them.
  • Post #27 - July 22nd, 2008, 8:31 am
    Post #27 - July 22nd, 2008, 8:31 am Post #27 - July 22nd, 2008, 8:31 am
    The 2008 edition of the Pierogi Fest in Whiting, IN takes place this weekend - July 25th > 27th.

    http://www.pierogifest.net/
  • Post #28 - July 22nd, 2008, 9:06 am
    Post #28 - July 22nd, 2008, 9:06 am Post #28 - July 22nd, 2008, 9:06 am
    A close friend of mine who lives in Whiting told me we should hold off attending until Saturday -- the crowds will be a little thinner and it will be possible to try more food that way. I think we will take her advice.

    Suzy
    " There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life."
    - Frank Zappa
  • Post #29 - July 22nd, 2008, 4:45 pm
    Post #29 - July 22nd, 2008, 4:45 pm Post #29 - July 22nd, 2008, 4:45 pm
    Sounds great!

    We went last year and had a great time. :)
    "Make Lunch, Not War" ~ Anon
  • Post #30 - July 23rd, 2008, 9:17 am
    Post #30 - July 23rd, 2008, 9:17 am Post #30 - July 23rd, 2008, 9:17 am
    The Friday evening parade is fun to watch, but once may be enough. Yes, the crowd is large and lines are long at the food stalls, and nightfall is upon you quickly. Unless someone wants to see the parade, I agree with the suggestions that visiting on Saturday or Sunday is probably the best course of action.

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