WHITING, Ind. — Pierogi Fest attendees this summer will be “walking on the sun” after rock band Smash Mouth was announced as the main headliner.
Known as “the wackiest festival in all the Midwest,” Pierogi Fest is celebrating its 29th anniversary near the shores of Lake Michigan in Whiting.
It returns this summer from July 28-30.
Chairman and co-founder Tom Dabertin credited partners Hard Rock Casino Northern Indiana for helping book Smash Mouth.
He said the fest wouldn’t be what it is without an “amazing” network of volunteers.
“What’s really amazing and what makes it different from another other fest is that it’s run by 650 volunteers,” Dabertin said.
While the music lineup has been announced, an eclectic mix taking place on seven stages, the vendor list is still under wraps.
The fest limits traditional fair food like elephant ears, but patrons will be able to taste any kind of pierogi imaginable.
“We’ve had vendors from from Montreal, as far east as Brooklyn and as far south as Florida,” Dabertin said.
While shut down in 2020 during the pandemic, Dabertin said the time allowed them to look at how to improve the festival.
As a result, they moved the parade to incorporate Hammond’s Robertsdale neighborhood, who co-hosts it with Whiting’s Chamber of Commerce. It used to run through the center of the festival, which Dabertin said caused congestion.
Smash Mouth performs at 8:30 p.m. Saturday, July 29 on the main stage.