WHITING | Whiting's Pierogi Fest is grabbing another share of the national spotlight, this time from Yahoo! and TruTV, organizers of the event said Monday.
The fest, which runs July 26-28, has fun with the region's cultural heritage and delicious home-cooked food.
Internet company Yahoo! announced the festival will be featured on the popular search engine's home page and will be the focus of Yahoo's online show, "Blue Ribbon Hunter." The travel and food-based program will film the festival for three days, covering every aspect of the fest, from the parade to the pierogi eating contest. In the filming, Chef Allison Fishman Task will search out the most unique pierogi, event organizers said.
TruTV show "Hardcore Pawn: Chicago" also will participate in the parade. The program features brothers Wayne and Randy Cohen, who run the Royal Pawn Shop, and their families.
Most recently, the fest has made the top 10 list of bizarre festivities compiled by global travel website TripAdvisor.
Pierogi Fest draws about 275,000 people, Chamber of Commerce President and Festival Chairman Tom Dabertin said.
Dabertin said that since the festival's beginning in 1994, Oprah Winfrey has named it one of her top seven favorite summer things, and it has been featured on the Food Network, Travel Channel and CNN. It also has won The Times' Best of the Region five years in a row.
CBS and FOX will broadcast live at the upcoming festival. In the past, the event also has been broadcast on TV stations in China, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Australia and many other countries.
"We have fun with being lighthearted and tongue-in-cheek," Dabertin said. "That's the secret to our success."
Pierogi fest features 77 food vendors, 100 arts and crafts booths, 20 specialty vendors and 50 parade displays.