PLYMOUTH – Crowds of hungry people from across Northeastern Pennsylvania came out to the 9th Annual Plymouth Kielbasa Festival on Saturday to celebrate the famous Polish sausage so popular throughout the area.
The two-day event featured dozens of food vendors, serving all types of fresh and smoked kielbasa and sausages, as well as stands featuring potato pancakes, fresh-fried vegetables, pulled-pork barbecue, crab cakes, funnel cakes and buttered corn-on-the-cob.
The highlight of the annual festival is the kielbasa judging competition with Bosack's Market of Olyphant taking first place for fresh kielbasa and Komensky's Market in Dupont walking away with top honors for smoked rings.
"This is our 10th trophy to add to our display case," beamed Gail Bosack, who also place third in the smoked kielbasa category. "It's a lot of hard work to make good kielbasa, but an event like this makes it all worthwhile."
Bosack said their product has been shipped as far away as California and many people from throughout the Wyoming Valley take the drive to Olyphant to purchase their award-winning kielbasa and 14 different varieties of sausage.
"The weather this year has been absolutely perfect and the crowds have been huge," explained Susan Gryziec, vice president of Plymouth Alive, the organization that organizes the festival. "After the hurricane last year, we are blessed that this weekend has been so fantastic. We couldn't be happier."
The festival featured a colorful fireman's parade on Saturday along with a full lineup of live entertainment at the main bandstand throughout the weekend.
"This is our first year participating in the competition and we came in second by one point," stated John Vishnefsky of Tarnowki's Kielbasa in Glen Lyon. "We're thrilled with the result today and we're serving notice that we plan to win next year."
Vishnefsky said that he sells his product at farmers markets across the valley but the Kielbasa Festival was the highlight of their year.
"We've been making kielbasa and sausage for 64 years," continued Vishnefsky. "We knew we had a great product, but its great to get recognized."
Rob Sepelyak, owner of Komensky's Market in Dupont, said that they have been participating in the festival since its inception nine years ago and that the hard work pays off by the patronage and compliments of the thousands of smiling customers who stop by to sample their kielbasa.
"Winning today was just icing on the cake," smiled Sepelyak. "And we plan to keep coming back as long as they'll have us."