By Mugo Odigwe

CHICAGO (CBS) — Pierogi Fest is on. The festival was canceled last year because of the pandemic, what’s known as the wackiest fest in the Midwest is back in Whiting, Indiana, starting today.

The festival celebrating Eastern Europe kicked off at 11 a.m. with pierogis along with other Polish treats and music all day.

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The tents are set up, the vendors are ready, and the smell of good food is in the air along 119th Street in Whiting.

If you come out, you’ll also likely meet the buscias, a group of ladies spreading joy in their housecoats and hair curlers at Pierogi Fest.

“It’s a lot of fun, a lot of food, good entertainment.”

Decked out in their housecoats and stockings, they’ve got all the personality in the world to make you laugh.

“This is natural beauty. We wake up like this. Maybe one, two, three curlers. Straighten them out a little bit, but that’s it.”

Then there are the vendors, like Dominic, but don’t call him that. He simply wants to be referred to by his store front’s name: Babushka’s Polish Foods.

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Like many of the other vendors at Pierogi Fest, he’s glad to be back this year, especially after the festival was cancelled in 2020 because of COVID-19.

“Oh, last year sucked. I mean that really sucked, but at the end of the day, you gotta do what you gotta do to keep people safe,” he said.

We should also mention he makes the best, the most delicious pierogis.

And while Pierogi Fest is all about fun with the family, organizers know COVID-19 is still top of mind this year; especially with the number of cases continuing to rise.

Organizers said there are some safety measures in place.

“One of the things that people will notices is that we took the picnic tables off 119th street, off the main festival area, and put them into large picnic areas so that we can provide for a little bit more distancing, open up the street a little bit more,”

All the more reason to come out, enjoy the festival, and meet the buscias.

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Pierogi Fest runs through Sunday, so you’ve got a few days to check it out.