- Photo: Nick Paradise
- Grandma Cyl’s Homemade Pierogi at last year’s Pittsburgh Pierogi Festival
Two of Pittsburgh's great loves are hooking up: pierogis and Kennywood. The Pittsburgh Pierogi Festival returns for its fifth year on Sun., Sept. 23, and it promises a variety of adventurous re-inventions and traditional recipes.
There will be 37 vendors offering takes on the traditional comfort foods. From BRGR’s pierogi burger to Las Chicas Food Truck’s pierogi taco, there should be something for every taste. Other highlights include Oh My Grill’s “Polish Tailgater” and Pittsburgh Smokehouse’s “Smokey ‘Rogi.” Traditionalists can seek Grandma Cyl’s traditional potato-and-cheese pierogi or satiate a major appetite with Stromboli-sized “Pieroli” with steak and provolone.
In addition to food, the event promises a pop-up marketplace for all-things-pierogi art and merchandise. There is also a beer garden open for guests 21 and over.
In 2013, organizers held the festival as a free event in a park to test the viability of a pierogi-specific festival. Response was overwhelmingly positive, and last year was the first time Kennywood staged the event. This year’s festival features 16 new pierogi vendors and select Kennywood rides and games.
Event organizers say there is no happier or authentically Pittsburgh place than Kennywood, and several roller coasters and rides will be available for pierogi lovers. The Merry-Go-Round, Thunderbolt, Jack Rabbit, Racer, Turtle, and Noah’s Ark will be open throughout the festival.
An excellent music lineup features folk, polka, and contemporary dance. Pandemic will be the resident DJ throughout the festival, bringing a mix of traditional folk and cutting-edge dance music from the world over. Mon Valley Push is described as “Southwestern PA’s newest Polka Sensation,” while Unnecessary Polka delivers a mix of pop and country.
You may not have known “Četiri Jedan Dva” is Croatian for “Four One Two,” and five-piece eastern European ensemble Četiri Jedan Dva Bend intends to bring traditional folk songs to a Pittsburgh audience. This local band specializes in music from eastern Europe and it has performed at festivals and weddings across the United States and Canada. Garage-pop band and longtime regional favorite Meeting of Important People rounds out the lineup.
Buying tickets online will knock $4 off the price, and admission gets you free parking, rides, and giveaways. Food, beverages, and games are not included in the ticket price.
Pittsburgh Pierogi Festival
Sun., Sept. 23. 1 p.m.-6 p.m. $24 (adults), $12 (kids). Kennywood, 4800 Kennywood Blvd., West Mifflin. pghpierogifestival.com