PLYMOUTH — Not even a late-afternoon rainstorm could keep kielbasa connoisseurs and street fair aficionados from downtown Plymouth for the opening of the Kielbasa Festival on Friday.
“It’s good,” borough resident Vicki Thomas said of the festival and its offerings as she waited for some take-out from AuRants restaurant being prepared under a tent. “I just wish it wouldn’t rain.”
AuRants employee Danny Blacer helped keep Thomas’ grandson, Kyle Thomas, 8, in good spirits. He let the boy use a battery-powered megaphone to entice customers to try the Duryea restaurant’s kielbasa-bobs or some kielbasa macaroni and cheese while he, his grandmother and grandfather, Ed Fore, stood in the rain awaiting their order.
And AuRants was by no means the family’s only vendor stop Friday. “We’re going up and down the street. You’ve got to try it all,” Vicki Thomas said.
At the next tent over, Internet-based Backwoods Brittle Company owner Lynn Yasenchak said business was steady before the rain started around 4 p.m.
“You’re going to get your people who go home when it starts raining, but then you have a lot of people who stopped (under the tent) for shelter and some samples,” Yasenchak said.
Varieties of brittle samples included everything from the traditional peanut to the more adventurous toasted coconut almond, butter pecan, sesame sunflower almond, cayenne cashew and strawberry pecan pretzel.
“I have no kielbasa brittle,” Yasenchak said with a chuckle. “We thought about it and then we said, um, no.”
While several area restaurants were selling their specialties under tents or out of trucks parked along Main Street, local nonprofits were dishing out delicacies as well.
Borough resident Kim Becker said the Plymouth VFW’s sausage and peppers sandwiches were moving fast — a delicious deal at only $3.
With their purchases, customers were helping fund the post’s community projects, such as scholarships for Wyoming Valley West seniors and donations to the Wilkes-Barre VA Medical Center, Becker noted.
Alan and Donna Hornik, of Hanover Township, were impressed with the variety of vendor offerings.
“Believe it or not, it’s our first time over, even living this close,” Alan Hornik said.
Given his travel with the military and having been stationed with the Army in El Paso, Texas, Hornik said he and his wife “are the type of people who don’t stay close (to home), we go far away” to attend new events and festivals.
“Local food is good, but it’s good to get a taste of different cultures,” he said.