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Whiting hosts annual Pierogi Fest

WHITING, Ind. (WISH) — The award-winning annual Pierogi Fest is this weekend in Whiting.

On Friday and Saturday, the fest runs from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. On Sunday, the fest runs from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The celebration, which began in the early 1990s, honors cultural identity through food.

“Pierogis were chosen as a focal point to honor Eastern European heritage, but the festival has never been exclusive to a single culture,” the Pierogi Fest site says. “All foods from all nationalities are welcome, and over the years many different types of delicious dishes have been featured during the event.”

Tom Dabertin, chairman and co-founder of the fest, said the weekend typically brings in about 350,000 to the community. He joined Daybreak on Wednesday to talk about the event.

“We draw people from not only all 50 states, but actually from across the pond,” Dabertin said.

Aside from food, the fest features “Bushas.”

“Busha” is the Polish word for grandmother.

“Their presence throughout the festival represents the love and respect that all people have for their grandparents and family traditions,” their site says. “Plus, the hilarity of their weird grandma outfits.”

The fest also features a “Polka Parade.”

To learn more about the fest, watch the video above.