Get ready to celebrate the beloved pierogi during the most whimsical of all festivals to hit the Region.

Pierogi Fest, which is the annual event paying tribute to the tasty Eastern European style dumpling, begins Friday and runs through Sunday in Whiting.

Visitors who come from near and far will have the opportunity to take part in everything pierogi, including the famous Pierogi Parade, assorted contests, dining from vendor stations, live music and diverse activities.

Don't miss the unique Pierogi Parade, which kicks off at 7 p.m. Friday. It's usually considered the official start of the festival and stars characters such as Mr. Pierogi, Halupki Guy and The Buscias.

Food is the ultimate star at this fest with pierogi of all types remaining in the spotlight. Pounds of the Polish specialty plus other Polish favorite recipes are offered at the event. Other ethnic foods and fest favorites will be available as well.

Visiting the fest every year are people from all over the Region and beyond. Pierogi fans from across the Midwest and other states annually come to the festival. Other countries are represented as well. Past visitors have hailed from Australia, Germany, Canada and other locales.

Attendees can take part in various contests on the fest grounds, listen to live music or watch hysterical cooking shows. For instance, The Buscias' Cooking Show begins at noon on Saturday while a Polka Contest  is at 4:30 p.m. Saturday.

Whiting Idol will also be featured at 5 p.m. Saturday.

Among musical attractions will be  The Ron Smolen Polka Band, Hoosier Grandpas, The Indigoes, Just For Fun Ukelele Strummers,  Robert Rolfe Fedderson, Muddsharks, Nomad Planets and Take 5. Visit the fest's website for performance times.

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