CHICAGO (CBS) — The wackiest fest in the Midwest–Pierogi Fest–opens this weekend in Whiting, Indiana.

Here are five things you need to know about Pierogi Fest, which celebrates all things Eastern European, with the focus, of course on Pierogi, that “darling European dumpling,” as festival organizers call it:

When: The festival runs from Friday though Sunday, July 26 to 28.  Hours on Friday to Saturday are 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. This is the 25th anniversary of the event.

 

Where:  The fest runs down 119th Street, the main drag in Whiting, Indiana. Here is a map:

(Credit: Pierogi Fest)

What Can You Do? Eat! Like, a lot. (Pierogi, of course. Plus other Polish food, hot dogs, ice cream, Mexican food. Dozens of choices.) Drink! Like, a lot! (Many beers, including some Polish brews, and wines. Jam! Like, a lot. (There is music all day long during the fest.)

“We have every type of food you can imagine; there are literally thousands of items,” Pierogi pooh-bah Tom Dabertin told CBS 2 on Friday. “We have more than 90 food booths and five stages of entertainment … including every genre of music from polka to rock.”

Tens of thousands of people attend every year. Here is where you can park. (Tip: Park far away. It’s free, so you save money and can then walk off the calories.)

 

(Credit: Pierogi Fest)

Don’t Miss! The opening night parade at 7 p.m. on Friday. Meet Grand Marshal, retired CBS 2 meteorologist Steve Baskerville! See all the Pierogi Fest characters (and there are plenty of those, marching in the parade, including the iconic Mr. Pierogi).

Steve Baskerville (Credit: Sara Mantich)

As is the tradition, CBS 2 Meteorologist Mary Kay Kleist will be broadcasting live on Friday at 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. Come say hello!

Mary Kay Kleist (Credit: Sara Mantich)

How To Get There:

FROM THE LOOP South on I-94/Dan Ryan Expressway to the Chicago Skyway/I-90. Exit Indianapolis Blvd. Turn left at the stop light (Southeast) onto Indianapolis Blvd. and drive for approximately 2 miles to 119th Street.

FROM I-80/94 Exit Calumet Avenue North. Continue north for approximately 7.5 miles to 119th Street. Turn right (east). In about a half mile, you’ll run into the fest.

FROM THE INDIANA TOLL ROAD, I-90 Exit Calumet Avenue North. Continue north for approximately 7.5 miles to 119th Street. Turn right (east). In about a half mile, you’ll run into the fest.

FROM I-65 Take I-65 North to I-80/94 West. Exit Calumet Avenue North. Continue north for approximately 7.5 miles to 119th Street. Turn right (east). In about a half mile, you’ll run into the fest.

FROM ILLINOIS SOUTH AND SUBURBS Take I-294 South to I-80/94 East to Indiana.Exit Calumet Avenue North. Continue north for approximately 7.5 miles to 119th Street. Turn right (east). In about a half mile, you have arrived.