The annual Pierogi Fest in Whiting has the honor of being featured on the cover of the 2024 Indiana State Festival Guide.
This marks the first time a festival in Northwest Indiana has appeared on the cover.
The Indiana State Festival Guide is a 116-page booklet. It provides details about festivals, fairs and events throughout the state. A half million copies of the guide are distributed in all 92 counties in Indiana.
“Pierogi Fest has won a number of accolades as one of the best festivals in the nation,” said Tom Dabertin, chairman and co-founder of Pierogi Fest, in a press release. “The front cover is a confirmation of the hard work that more than 600 volunteers undertake annually to make it a success.”
Each year, an event from a different region of the state is showcased on the cover of the state festival guide. The covers already have been approved through 2030.
Heather Becerra is the CMO of the South Shore Convention and Visitors Authority and an associate board member of the Indiana State Festivals Association.
“This is a great opportunity to highlight one of the most unique festivals in all the Midwest,” Becerra said.
This year, the Pierogi Fest is celebrating 30 years. The festival takes place in July in downtown Whiting. The event offers food booths, beer gardens, art vendors, entertainment and a polka parade. This year, the festival will take place July 26-28.
The idea for Pierogi Fest formed in the early 1990s. Marty Dybel, Tom Dabertin and Darlene Beerling wanted to celebrate cultural heritage with a festival in Whiting. The city has a history that blends many cultural backgrounds.
The trio wanted food, family and fun to be cornerstones of the event. They chose pierogis to honor Eastern European heritage. Over the years, foods from many nationalities have also been featured.