The Whiting Pierogi Fest® is presented annually by the Whiting-Robertsdale Chamber of Commerce. Drawing almost 300,000 visitors each year, Pierogi Fest® is the pride of Whiting, IN. It welcomes all to celebrate our heritage while poking a little fun at ourselves at the same time. Where else can you see grown women dressed up like our grandmothers (buscias, as we say) in housecoats and babushkas? Or the lawnmower brigade strutting through town with sandals and socks on like our dads did? You’ll also see life-size polish pastries and goodies walking and talking waiting to take a picture with you. 

Pierogi Fest® began when Marty Dybel, Tom Dabertin and Darlene Beerling sat down one afternoon to discuss Marty’s idea to creating a festival that celebrated Whiting-Robertsdale’s ethnic heritage, including family memories, customs and food. It was decided it would be a real honor to their ancestors to celebrate and retain part of that special heritage. All they needed was a symbol to pin it on. That symbol was the innocent and darling little Eastern European dumpling:  the pierogi (or pirohi, depending on your grandma). Some people still trill the “r” when they say it, just like buscia and jaja did.



Whiting is a city located on the southern shores of Lake Michigan, born of the railroads and the Standard Oil Company in 1889. It is a city of historic buildings: The Whiting Community Center, an Andrew Carnegie library and the Hoosier Theater. It’s a community that cherishes its history and continues to celebrate its traditions. There are beautiful old homes on streets named after city founders. Whiting specializes in unique shops and family owned businesses, a rich ethnic heritage and diversity, with festivals, summer concerts and parades. Whiting is ideally located 30 minutes from downtown Chicago. Robertsdale is an adjoining neighborhood to Whiting. Although part of the City of Hammond, the boundaries are blurred, and we exist as one big, happy community.

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Since 1923, the Whiting-Robertsdale Chamber of Commerce has helped the business community grow. Historically the Chamber has been involved in bringing about the Hammond Marina, the riverboat selection process, creating the Economic Redevelopment Commission, revitalizing 119th Street and initiating the Whiting-Robertsdale Historical Society. Most of all, it started and organizes Pierogi Fest®. It is the mission of the Chamber to be a public catalyst, partner and investor in the community, serve its citizens and merchants by encouraging, promoting, expanding and enhancing the business area of Whiting-Robertsdale.

The Chamber is an independent, not-for-profit community organization with the chartered purpose to promote business growth and involvement for all who live and work in the area. We join together to improve the community for its residents and to foster the development of business, industry, and community. Together, the Chamber does what no one person can accomplish alone.

In addition to Pierogi Fest®, The Chamber of Commerce organizes several other events in Whiting throughout the year. Learn more about each event below:

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