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Get your kielbasa on


February 16. 2013 6:43PM


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A festival dedicated to Polish sausage? Well, it was laughable at first.


"When the idea was brought to us by one of our former presidents we had a good chuckle over it at first," Terry Womelsdorf, current president of the Plymouth Alive organization said, "but when we got to thinking about it, it really was a good idea and it made sense. So many places had a festival that was dedicated to something that was locally grown, sold, or made, and people are always coming to this area from out of town and taking kielbasa home with them, or the people here have it shipped to family that have moved elsewhere."


Nine years ago the Plymouth Kielbasa Festival was born, and it has since grown – and grown, and grown.


"We consider ourselves to be the largest growing festival in Northeastern Pennsylvania," Womelsdorf said. "The area we're in has a lot of room for expansion, as well."


The main event for the festival is the Kielbasa Competition, which takes place at 1 p.m. tomorrow at Franchella's on Main Street. A panel of judges takes part in a blind taste test of fresh and smoked kielbasa.


Fetch's Kielbassi Shop (another version of the word used to represent the tasty links) has been a part of the festival since its inception, and has tasted the victory of smoking the competition. The shop won the "best smoked" category the very first year the festival took place, as well as last year. They hope for another win this time around.


No matter what type, David Fetch Jr. said the perfect kielbasa has balance.


"When you cut it open, you want it to have a beautiful texture. You don't want it to be too chunky or too lean; you've got to find a happy medium. When it's too lean it tends to dry out, and when it's too chunky it just doesn't look good. You want to strive for a good balance in the meat-to-fat ratio."


Womelsdorf has seen a lot of kielbasa over the years, but he said he couldn't pick just one favorite local type; all the makers have become friends of his over the past nine years. However, you might have a hint of one he really likes if you can catch him at their stand.


"I start every Friday and Saturday morning with one of the vendor's fresh kielbasa sandwiches," Womelsdorf said with a chuckle, "but I'm not saying who."


If you go


WHAT: Plymouth Kielbasa Festival



WHEN: 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. today and Saturday



WHERE: Main Street, Plymouth



Entertainment schedule



Today


Sport Jes Bandshell


• 2 to 3:30 p.m.: Rock Dogs


• 4 to 6 p.m.: Stanky and the Coalminers


• 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.: Flaxy Morgan


• 8 to 10 p.m.: Rock 107 Live Remote


• 9 to 11 p.m.: Tom Slick and the Grease Slappers


Wyoming Valley West Bandshell


• 2 to 3:30 p.m.: Jon Stevens and Doubleshot


• 4 to 6 p.m.: Breakdown Jimmy


• 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.: Southern Sky


• 9 to 11 p.m.: Jeanne Zano Band



Tomorrow


Sport Jes Bandshell


• 10 to 11 a.m.: Froggy 101 Live Remote


• 11 a.m.: Welcome Home Veterans Parade


• 1 p.m.: Kielbasa Competition at Franchella's, 127 W. Main St.


• 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.: 40 lb. Head


• 4 to 6 p.m.: Polka Naturals


• 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.: Mr. Rogers Neighborhood


• 9 to 11 p.m.: Iron Cowboy


Wyoming Valley West Bandshell


• 2 to 3:30 p.m.: Liar Liar


• 4 to 6 p.m.: Joe Stanky and the Cadets


• 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.: Flashback


• 9 to 11 p.m.: Mr. Echo





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