Pierogi FestivalFrom the North Side of Chicago, one can either take the Skyway or continue on South Lake Shore Drive to get to one of the best street fests in and around the Windy City - Whiting, Indiana’s Pierogi Festival. At the corner of 119th Street and Indianapolis Blvd I was welcomed with a large pink sign and the smell of butter, onions, kraut, pierogies, and meats.
As I ventured deeper and deeper into the festival, the sights and sounds became more and more intoxicating. Passing stand after stand, I ignored the shouts of “homemade pierogies” and “meat makes the beard grow” because I didn’t want to fill up before I made it to the end without seeing everything the festival had to offer.
There was live music, a carousel, dunk a nun, Mr. Pierogi and his backup singers, and a Jesus impersonator. As I turned back, I jumped in the longest pierogi line I could find. I asked the guy in front of me “So what makes these so special?” “Fruit,” he says. I wanted traditional even though fruit wasn’t so far fetched. Pierogies are like little pies, right?
After devouring some alligator pierogies (bland, even doused in Louisiana hot sauce), a homemade quarter pound pierogi covered in onions & butter (the best), and sweet cheese & sauerkraut (pretty good) I was stuffed. But I did have to pick up an apple strudel as I headed to the exit.
The Pierogi Festival is an onslaught on the senses, in the best way possible. It’s unique, separating itself from the weekly street festivals in and around Chicagoland.