LaPORTE | It's a special time in LaPorte for friends to become closer and for many to get reunited with neighbors and those they see just once a year.
Dyngus Day was as popular as ever Monday during its 27th year being celebrated in LaPorte.
Rita Bernstein, of Wanatah, and Midge Schultz, of Valparaiso, went to their first Dyngus Day, which featured eight bars and as always LaPorte TransPorte buses taking participants to each of the establishments at no cost to prevent drinking and driving.
"We wanted to do it for our first year. We heard how good of a time it was," Bernstein said.
Some of the bars also had music playing loudly as early as mid-afternoon with rock bands hitting the stage at night at some locations.
"LaPorte has it going on," said Steve Moore, who was in charge of bringing a bus full of members from the Disabled American Veterans group out of Michigan City.
Moore was at Ringers bar at 311 Washington St., sharing laughs and a few spirits with Greg Wallen, a mechanic with shops in LaPorte and Michigan City.
"We're out busting it up and having a great time. This town is awesome for this. They need to figure out how to do this more often," Wallen said.
Sami Allen, co-owner of Ringers, made 300 jello shots and 400 pudding shots made with vodka that were a hit with her many customers for $1 apiece.
She said Dyngus Day is like Christmas for bar owners. It's one of the busiest -- if not the busiest -- day of the year.
"It's going real well," Allen said.
According to history, Dyngus Day started in 966 AD and has roots in countries like Poland, where people celebrate the end of fasting during Lent and a new beginning after Easter with food and drink.
Dyngus Day is also celebrated in Michigan City but LaPorte is known for going all out for the celebration.
Tracy Geslak just moved to LaPorte from Westville and enjoyed her first Dyngus Day celebration.
"I just moved out this way so I'm getting to see bars I had never been to," Geslak said. "It's more community out here than Michigan City. More people take part and people seem know people more here.''