PLYMOUTH — The borough’s Main Street again came alive again on Saturday as a celebration that has become tradition to residents of Northeastern Pennsylvania continued into its second day.
The 14th annual Plymouth Alive Kielbasa Festival brought thousands of people out for food, music, shopping, socializing and, of course, kielbasa.
The American Legion building was filled with attendees of the event eager to find out who would garner top spots when it came to making the best fresh and smoked kielbasa.
Terry Womelsdorf, president of Plymouth Alive, said festival judges this year were culinary professionals, ranging from restaurant owners to culinary school instructors.
While waiting for the tallying of the votes, judges took the opportunity to informally “roast” Womelsdorf, drawing laughs from the crowd.
When the final votes were in, Bosak’s Choice Meats took first place in both the fresh and smoked categories.
Debbie Galchefski, a bartender at the American Legion said the annual event not only fills the bar, but brings back memories of simpler days.
“It’s wonderful, like the good old days,” she said. “In Plymouth, everyone knows everyone.”
Patsy Thomas, also a bartender at the American Legion, said she looks forward to the event bringing in customers, some of whom she only sees once a year.
“Its nice to see the same faces year after year,” she said.
Katie Mullaney and her fiance, Brian Hooks, of Kingston, brought daughter Cheyenne, 2, who seemed to be having a wonderful time in the bounce house.
“She also got her face painted,” Mullaney said. “It was her very first time.”
Frank Coughlin, a member of Plymouth Alive and borough councilman, said the festival was a wonderful opportunity to bring the community together while raising money for a good cause.
“We put all politics aside for the event, although most of the council members belong to Plymouth Alive,” he said. “This is about community.”
Coughlin said money raised by Plymouth Alive makes its way back into the community through donations to the police and fire departments, the historical society, the summer reading program and other positive efforts.
“We try to beautify the downtown,” he said, citing flower baskets as an example.
Those who loved music were not disappointed, with many gathering in front of a band shell at the park in the center of town to dance to a polka or tap their feet to the music.
Those who came hungry had a variety of foods from which to chose, ranging from the traditional kielbasa and pierogi to American fare to to sweet treats such as ice cream and trendy cupcakes.
“Its a great opportunity to support local vendors and enjoy an afternoon,” said Hooks. “We’re coming back next year.”