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Kielbasa Fest returns to East Chicago

The Whiting Pierogi Fest Buscias take part in a pierogi toss at Kielbasa Fest in East Chicago last year.

Whiting's Pierogi Fest is, of course, the big one, but Northwest Indiana is home to more than one Polish food-themed festival.

Kielbasa Fest returns for a third year at Kosciuszko Park at 151st Street and Indianapolis Boulevard in East Chicago on Saturday.

The free festival will take place from 1 to 8 p.m. Attendees can enjoy freshly grilled kielbasa and other Polish food, as well as a Polish beer garden and an array of local vendors.

The Boys from Illinois and the Take 5 Band will perform live polka music in the annual celebration of Polish heritage and its eponymous Polish meat sausage in the East Chicago park named after Tadeusz Kościuszko, a Polish-Lithuanian military engineer who became a widely celebrated hero during the American Revolutionary War.

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BP, Ameristar Casino and Hotel, St. Catherine Hospital and city of East Chicago are sponsoring the "crazy fun day of family fun in the park."

Kielbasa Fest debuted in 2017. Festivities last year included Big Frank's Sausages grilling up Polish fare and the Whiting Pierogi Fest Buscias clowning around, such as by doing a pierogi toss contest in which participants won humorous gifts like "do-it-yourself soap-on-a-rope," which was a string tied around a boxed bar of Dove soap.

This year, MJ Polish Deli and Cavalier Inn, both from Hammond, will sell food at the festival. Attendees are encouraged to bring lawn chairs.

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Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.