PLYMOUTH – With the aroma of garlic in the air, Gail and Tammy Bosak were working their stand at the Kielbasa Festival Friday morning while their husbands – John and Mark – were back at the Olyphant store making the Polish sausage.
An array of trophies and crowns are displayed in the corner of Bosak's stand, a testament to the store's success at the festival.
Bosak's will vie for its 10th first place trophy today at 1 p.m. at Franchella's on West Main Street.
The contest is just one highlight of the two-day festival that lines both sides of Main Street with vendors selling everything from fresh and smoked kielbasa, to pierogies, ice cream, funnel cakes, garlic and honey vinegar, arts and crafts, jewelry, leather goods, steak sandwiches, flameless candles, fake tattoos and antiques. Outdoor music at two venues adds to the festivities.
Just down the street from Bosak's stand, Komensky's Market was selling kielbasa at a fast pace. Brenda Sepelyak and her husband, Robert, own the Duryea store and have been in all nine contests, winning first place several times for fresh or smoked entries.
"It's an awesome festival," she said. "It's spread out and people walk up and down Main Street all day."
There are no trophies displayed at the Komensky's stand, despite their past titles.
"We love the competition, but our customers don't really care if we win on don't. Winning isn't the fun part – being involved is what it's all about."
John and Anastasia Vishnefski have owned Tarnowski's Market in Glen Lyon since October. John's grandfather, Thaddeus Tarnowski, recently passed away and the couple decided to continue the 67-year family tradition.
"We still use the original recipe," John, 33, said. "I grew up in this business and it was very important to my grandfather. I enjoy this – I finally have a job I truly enjoy."
Terry Womelsdorf, Susan Gryziec and Jaynan Temerantz serve as president, vice president and treasurer of Plymouth Alive, the sponsoring organization.
Over the years Womelsdorf said thousands of dollars have been given to several charities, including the children's summer reading program at the Plymouth Public Library.
Other charities that have benefitted include the Salvation Army, Red Cross, Plymouth Little League, Valley with a Heart, the three borough volunteer fire companies and the police department, which received computers and Tasers.
"Every year we donate anywhere between $5,000 and $10,000 to charities," Womelsdorf said.
About 15 volunteers dedicate their weekends to the festival, he said and two band shells will feature 16 bands Friday and Saturday. There are games for children, temporary tattoos and face painting.
John Gavenonis and Richard Schall, both of Larksville, were enjoying a steak sandwich and kielbasa as they walked the festival. Both are members of the Plymouth Kiwanis Club and they were on a break from the club's stand that sells used books, records and cassettes.
"This takes me back to the old days in Plymouth," Gavenonis said. "This is the best idea anybody ever had. It brings out old friends and attracts visitors from outside. It's great."
Joanne Kinlaw and Pam Smith, co-owners of Scentsy, were selling flameless candles. They said the festival offered a lot of pedestrian traffic to stop by and check out their wares.
Bernie Kollarick, 72, is retired and he looks forward to the festival every year.
"I like seeing all the people and I look for new things every year," he said.
Plymouth Kielbasa Festival
Saturday- Aug. 25
10-10:30- Parade Line up
11- Welcome Home Veterans Parade
1 p.m. - Kielbasa Competition @ Franchella's Pub
1:30-3:30 - 40 LB Head
4-6 - Polka Naturals
6:30-8:30 - Mister Rogers Neighborhood
9-11 - Iron Cowboy