Pierogi Fest® began when Marty Dybel, Tom Dabertin and Darlene Beerling sat down one afternoon to discuss Marty’s idea to creating a festival that celebrated Whiting-Robertsdale’s ethnic heritage, including family memories, customs and food. It was decided it would be a real honor to their ancestors to celebrate and retain part of that special heritage. All they needed was a symbol to pin it on. That symbol was the innocent and darling little Eastern European dumpling: the pierogi (or pirohi, depending on your grandma). Some people still trill the “r” when they say it, just like buscia and jaja did.
The Whiting Pierogi Fest® is presented annually by the Whiting-Robertsdale Chamber of Commerce. Drawing almost 300,000 visitors each year, Pierogi Fest® is the pride of Whiting, IN. It welcomes all to celebrate our heritage while poking a little fun at ourselves at the same time. Where else can you see grown women dressed up like our grandmothers (buscias, as we say) in housecoats and babushkas? Or the lawnmower brigade strutting through town with sandals and socks on like our dads did? You’ll also see life-size polish pastries and goodies walking and talking waiting to take a picture with you.
Whiting's Biggest Event
By all accounts, the 24th annual Pierogi Fest was a success. The crowds responded enthusiastically to the parade and other activities