Not Your Average Sausage Fest: The Pierogi Fest in Whiting, Indiana
The Pierogi Fest in Whiting, Indiana is one of the most famous, lip-smacking food fests in the Midwest. Oprah Winfrey has given the Pierogi Fest a “Best Summer Festival Award” for two years running, and the weekend-long festival is filled with more than just fresh meat and cheese.
A Polish festival tradition for over 17 years, the Pierogi Fest draws more than 225,000 visitors each year in late July. The main attraction is the traditional Polish pierogi (a meat or cheese-stuffed dumpling), as well as hundreds of other Polish delicacies, such as homemade kielbasas, paczki (apricot- or fruit-stuffed pastry), halupki (pigs in a blanket) and plenty of sauerkraut on the side. When you’ve had your fill, check out the Polka dance-off, the pierogi parade, the live pierogi-themed “Song Fest,” the pierogi-eating contest and even a pierogi-throwing event. You can even snap your picture with a life-sized Mr. Pierogi, a Whiting tradition.
On the shores of Lake Michigan, Whiting, Indiana is only a 30 minute-drive southeast of Chicago, which makes it a great day trip for college students at Loyola, the University of Illinois, Columbia and many other Chi-Town universities. For those further out, this one-of-a-kind sausage fest is worth the weekend road trip, and you’ll have plenty to eat for the ride home. Happy eats!
By Leah Waldron