THE WHITING PIEROGI FEST is presented by the Whiting Robertsdale Chamber of Commerce. Drawing over 250,000 visitors each year, the Festival is the pride of Whiting. It allows us 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 (bushas, as we say) in housecoats and babushkas? Or the lawnmower brigade strut through town with sandals and socks on like or dads did? You’ll also see life-size polish pastries and goodies walking and talking waiting to take a picture with you. Only here at Whiting’s Pierogi Fest. Welcome!
THE FIRST PIEROGI FEST came about differently depending on whose story you listen to. Some say it started when a group of friends met for breakfast on morning and the conversation turned to their ethnic heritage, what so many of us in our Whiting community had in common in the way of family memories and events.
It was decided that it would be a real honor to their grandparents 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 darling, the pierogi (or pirohi, depending on your grandma). Some people still trill the “r” when they say it, just like busha and jaja did.
Listen to Mr. Pierogi tell the story and it starts a little differently. “I’ve had a lot of people ask me over the years how I got the gig. I remember it differently than a group of people sitting around reminiscing about their grandmothers. You see, back in the mid 1990s my wife, the beautiful Mrs. Pierogi left me for Mr. Kielbasa, for what many think are obvious reasons. I was so depressed about the incident that the town of Whiting gathered around to help ease my sorrows. In what some might consider effigy, I burned her likeness, and found that the little buggers were actually quite tasty. The town’s folk had such a good time that they decided to make the party a yearly event.”
No matter which version you believe, we welcome you back to a time when grandmas still wore babushkas and took the time to help little hands roll not only homemade dough but also those “r”s when they learned to pronounce “pierogi”. Welcome to Pierogi Fest.