Pierogi Fest was just named one of the 50 best food festivals in the United States by Eat This, Not That! on the popular website MSN.

The annual celebration of the Polish dumpling and related foodstuffs in downtown Whiting continues to receive national laurels, co-founder Tom Dabertin said.

“It’s always exciting for Pierogi Fest to receive yet another honor. Last year, Reader’s Digest named us as one of the 15 best festivals in America,” he said. “Over the past two decades, the festival has picked up a number of national honors. It is an honor for every person that volunteers to work on the festival.”

The wacky festival celebrating the Region’s Eastern European culture takes place along 119th Street every July. It features vendors selling pierogi, halupki, golabki and other traditional Polish cuisine, both traditional and fusion like Beggars Pizza’s pizzarogi.

The festivities include a pierogi toss, dunking a nun in a dunk tank and the humorous parade that includes the Precision Lawnmower Drill Team.

“Whiting, Indiana is home to Pierogi Fest, a food festival that celebrates all things potato dumpling,” Eat This, Not That said in its ranking. “The Best Food Festival You Need to Know in Every State”  “The festival draws in thousands of people from around the world to try a variety of pierogis, and watch the lawnmover brigade making their way downtown in socks and sandals.

It’s garnered a significant amount of press, including from the Wall Street Journal, PBS, the Travel Channel, Yahoo, Tripadvisor, Saveur and O, The Oprah Magazine.

“It’s been named a best festival, zaniest festival and a blue ribbon festival,” Dabertin said. “It’s of course been named Times Best of the Region 18 straight years. It’s gratifying to know they chose us. It’s gratifying to the 600 volunteers who put on such a great festival. It’s exclusively done by volunteers. I am honored to be chairman.”

Pierogi Fest also is being considered for the cover of the 2024 Indiana Festivals Guide, which distributes more than 500,000 copies across the state.