By Dan Blom


CHICAGO (CBS) — To understand the origins of Pierogi Fest, CBS 2 Chicago went right to the source: Mr. Pierogi himself.

By Mr. Pierogi’s account, he was despondent after Mrs. Pierogi left him for another man, Mr. Kielbasa, 25 years ago. So the town elders of Whiting, Indiana decided to throw him a party to cheer him up.

Pierogi Fest, called the wackiest fest in the Midwest, was born.

Well, CBS 2 had some questions about that.

When pressed further by a CBS 2 investigative producer, Mr. Pierogi came clean.

In reality, he’s a character played for 22 of the 25 years of the festival’s existence, by Matt Valuckis.

“Were all here to have a good time and celebrate all things Eastern European,” he said.

After uncovering Mr. Pierogi’s true identity, a questioner threw a few softballs at him.

So what’s it take to be Mr. Pierogi?

“You can’t be thin to be Mr Pierogi, one of the jobs is to eat as much as you can— if you want to be Mr. Pierogi start bulking up now.”

Does Mr. Pierogi have any hobbies? 

Mr. Pierogi also plays guitar in a band called “Mr. Pierogi and the Doughboys.” They specialize in 80s and 90s one hit wonders.

What is Mr. Pierogi stuffed with?  

“Cheese, you have to be cheesy to be Mr. Pierogi, and a little bit of kraut because I’m sour, too.”

Where does Mr. Pierogi hang out in the offseason?

In a huge oil-filled frying pan, he says.

“It’s not the life for everyone, but it’s the life for me.”