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Pierogi Fest a celebration of all things Polish

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Updated: August 26, 2013 4:04PM



Comedy and comics are certain to entertain at two outstanding family-friendly events this weekend: Pierogi Fest in downtown Whiting and Saturday Strip: Comic Day MCA at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago.

Wacky. Nostalgic. Lots of fun. Great food. These are just some of the ways that I’ve heard people describe Pierogi Fest. They are all so right.

The festival’s namesake, the Eastern European stuffed dumpling, is tweaked by festival vendors who go beyond the basic potatoes, cheese, kraut and fruit traditionally found in pierogis and also offer spicy Cajun, alligator, and new this year — pizzarogis stuffed with cheese, sausage or pepperoni.

Pierogis aren’t just for eating, though there is a pierogi eating contest on Sunday at 3:30 p.m. Pierogis will be tossed in a contest on Sunday at 3 p.m., and they also make an interesting costume.

Mr. Pierogi, the mascot of the festival, is an affable guy dressed as a dumpling. One of his roles is to lead a songfest (Saturday at 1 p.m.) of parodies of familiar songs with lyrics changed to Eastern European or Northwest Indiana themes.

Another fest mascot is Polkahontas. She presides over the polka contest on Saturday at 5 p.m. at the polka stage, one of the four stages with music and entertainment. One of the stages is dedicated to children’s entertainment and nearby are nostalgic children’s rides. There is also a beer garden with a live music lineup.

The Pierogi Parade on Friday night at 7 p.m. is the most popular of all the fest events and even wackier than Eastern Bloc Jeopardy (Sunday at 11 a.m.).

Pierogi Fest is along 119th Street in Whiting, just west of Indianapolis Boulevard. The lineup of free entertainment begins at 11 a.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and continues until 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 5 p.m. and Sunday. Park along the streets, or for free in designated lots and take the shuttle for $1.

For complete details go online to www.pierogifest.net.

Comic Day

Saturday Strip: Comic Day MCA is a day packed with comics, cartoons, animations, comic-inspired performances including a puppet performance and Second City improv, comic journalists plus workshops with Chicago’s top comic and animation talent at Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art, MCA.

“We’re really going all out for this,” said Karla Loring of the MCA. “There will be something for every age, and not just for looking at. We’ll have lots of things visitors can take part in.”

For example, there will be a collaborative animation workshop at 10 a.m. to create works that will be screened throughout the day.

Saturday Strip: Comic Day MCA is offered in conjunction with the current exhibit Modern Cartoonist: The Art of Daniel Clowes. Two films based on his comics will be screened on Saturday evening beginning at 6 p.m. Free tickets will be available at the museum box office.

Comic Day MCA is on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Event admission is free with museum admission.

The MCA, 220 E. Chicago Ave., is one block east of the Water Tower. Suggested admission is $12 for adults, $7 for students with identification and senior citizens, and free for children under 12 when accompanied by an adult. For complete details, go to www.mcachicago.com.



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