CHICAGO (CBS) — Pierogi Fest in Whiting, Indiana, one of the wackiest summer festivals in the nation, has been postponed for a year, due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
“With all of the concerns about social interaction, we feel it is best to cancel this year’s event and focus on 2021 when we can once again provide the quality and fun event that everyone expects,” Pierogi Fest chairman and co-founder Tom Dabertin said in a statement.
The annual summer festival, which celebrates all things Eastern European, and draws more than 300,000 people, had been scheduled for July 24-26 in downtown Whiting. Instead, it won’t return until July 23-25, 2021.
Pierogi Fest is run almost entirely by a group of nearly 600 volunteers, and Dabertin said people might not be comfortable holding such a large event this summer, even if things are getting back to normal by July.
“In addition, we have a very short window to organize this year’s event and with the extended stay in place order, we missed a lot of the time we need to make sure that Pierogi Fest delights and entertains,” Dabertin stated.
Retired CBS 2 meteorologist Steve Baskerville has repeatedly served as grand marshal, and considered the unofficial czar of Pierogi Fest.
“Our success would not be possible without our partnership with CBS-2, meteorologists Steve Baskerville, and Mary Kay Kleist and other station personnel who have served as grand marshals of the parade and festival. We hope to continue that cherished and long-standing relationship in 2021,” Dabertin said.
The festival features tons of food, including Pierogi (of course), and other Polish treats, hot dogs, ice cream, Mexican food, and more. There’s also plenty of beers and wines, and music all day long. Last year’s festival included more than 90 food booths and five stages of entertainment.
TripAdvisor has named Pierogi Fest one of the wackiest festivals on the planet, and Oprah Winfrey named it one of her favorite things to do for five years straight. It’s also been named the Times of Northwest Indiana’s Best Festival for 15 years.