Corn carves out its place at Plymouth’s Kielbasa Festival

By Bill O’Boyle - [email protected]
Ron Kobusky, of Mee So Corny, turns corn on the grill while his grandson, Ty Makarewicz, 12, gets more ears during the first day of Kielbasa Festival in downtown Plymouth. - Aimee Dilger | Times Leader
John Vishnefski, of Tarnowski’s Kielbasa, grills some fresh sausage Friday during the first day of the Kielbasa Festival in downtown Plymouth. - Aimee Dilger | Times Leader
Scott Heeter hands Calen O’Neil, 7, an ice cream out the window of his ice cream truck as R.J. Lenkiewicz waits for his treat Friday during the Kielbasa Festival in downtown Plymouth. Heeter also operates a restaurant in Danville. - Aimee Dilger | Times Leader
Calvin Romani, 2, of Wilkes-Barre, eats an ear of corn from Mee So Corny held by mother Kim at the Plymouth Alive Kielbasa Festival on Friday afternoon. The festival continues Saturday with a parade and the famous kielbasa competition. - - Aimee Dilger | Times Leader

PLYMOUTH — While kielbasa is always the featured food of the annual Plymouth Alive Original Kielbasa Festival, the event, now in its 15th year, has plenty more to offer.

Ethnic foods, lots of kids’ games, plenty of arts and crafts and music of all genres will fill Main Street through Saturday night.

Two non-kielbasa options to consider are Mee So Corny, of Plymouth, and Heeter’s Ice Cream, of Danville.

Ron and Barbara Kobusky and Jim and Gail Burdulis own and operate Mee So Corny, offering one of the most sought-after items at the festival.

“It’s the best,” said Mari Austin, of Harveys Lake. “This is one of the best festivals I have ever been to, especially when it comes to food.”

Austin and her friend, Barbara Gianuzzi, also of Harveys Lake, were devouring their Mee So Corny delicacies Friday afternoon in the shadow of the Dan Flood Apartments on East Main Street. They had already downed some pierogis and potato pancakes from other vendors.

“This is the best corn ever,” Gianuzzi said. “This festival has the best food.”

Austin said their next stop would be for some kielbasa on their way out.

“We come here every year,” Austin said. “We wouldn’t miss it.”

Ron Kobusky said the sweet corn is grown at a local farm. He said the corn is soaked in water for a half hour to 45 minutes and then placed on a grill and cooked. When it is done cooking, Kobusky said the corn is placed in insulated containers to keep them warm.

When a customer places an order, the husk is removed and the corn on the cob is bathed in butter, then the Mee So Corny seasoning — they won’t reveal the ingredients — is added and it’s all topped off with sprinkles of parmesan cheese.

The Mee So Corny tent is located on “Kielbasa Row” — where annual Kielbasa Contest entrants Bosak’s, Komensky’s and Tarnowski’s were busy waiting on customers and preparing for Saturday’s competition — set for 1 p.m. at the Plymouth American Legion on Center Avenue.

Ron and Barbara Kobusky’s nephews — twin brothers Jacob and Zachary Kobusky — are entering military schools after graduating from Wyoming Valley West in June. Jacob is almost finished with basic training at West Point and he will begin classes soon. Zachary, after finishing his corn and kielbasa nachos, left for Virginia Tech.

Ron Kobusky said they expect to serve more than 2,200 ears of corn during the two-day festival.

“People tell us they use our seasoning on everything, from shrimp to chicken, to fish and eggs,” Gail Burdulis said. “We have a lot of repeat customers.”

The stand also offers homemade stuffed pepper soup and homemade pickles.

Ice cream with UK touch

Kim Romani, of Wilkes-Barre, bought an ear of corn for herself. But her son, Calvin, 2, decided he wasn’t going to give it up after the first taste.

“I love it, but I think Calvin loves it more,” she said. “This is our first stop every year. As soon as we arrive, we get in line for the corn.”

As Calvin was eating his mom’s corn, his sister, Cadence, 8 months, was looking on and reaching for a taste.

“No Cadence, you don’t have any teeth yet,” she said. “Next year you can have the corn.”

At the opposite end of Main Street, Scott Heeter was in his specially equipped ice cream truck. Heeter, of Danville, said he bought the truck five years ago and shipped it to England to be modified. He said a company there has a patent on a direct-drive system which eliminates the need for a generator to keep the ice cream cold.

“It saves money and eliminates the noise of a generator,” Heeter said.

Heeter also operates a restaurant in Danville. The ice cream truck offers all ice cream delights, like cones, shakes, sundaes and novelty items.

Besides Saturday’s kielbasa competition, the festival’s annual parade steps off at 11 a.m.

Ron Kobusky, of Mee So Corny, turns corn on the grill while his grandson, Ty Makarewicz, 12, gets more ears during the first day of Kielbasa Festival in downtown Plymouth.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/web1_TTL081118Kielbasa2.jpgRon Kobusky, of Mee So Corny, turns corn on the grill while his grandson, Ty Makarewicz, 12, gets more ears during the first day of Kielbasa Festival in downtown Plymouth. Aimee Dilger | Times Leader

John Vishnefski, of Tarnowski’s Kielbasa, grills some fresh sausage Friday during the first day of the Kielbasa Festival in downtown Plymouth.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/web1_TTL081118Kielbasa3.jpgJohn Vishnefski, of Tarnowski’s Kielbasa, grills some fresh sausage Friday during the first day of the Kielbasa Festival in downtown Plymouth. Aimee Dilger | Times Leader

Scott Heeter hands Calen O’Neil, 7, an ice cream out the window of his ice cream truck as R.J. Lenkiewicz waits for his treat Friday during the Kielbasa Festival in downtown Plymouth. Heeter also operates a restaurant in Danville.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/web1_TTL081118Kielbasa4.jpgScott Heeter hands Calen O’Neil, 7, an ice cream out the window of his ice cream truck as R.J. Lenkiewicz waits for his treat Friday during the Kielbasa Festival in downtown Plymouth. Heeter also operates a restaurant in Danville. Aimee Dilger | Times Leader

Calvin Romani, 2, of Wilkes-Barre, eats an ear of corn from Mee So Corny held by mother Kim at the Plymouth Alive Kielbasa Festival on Friday afternoon. The festival continues Saturday with a parade and the famous kielbasa competition.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/web1_TTL081118Kielbasa1.jpgCalvin Romani, 2, of Wilkes-Barre, eats an ear of corn from Mee So Corny held by mother Kim at the Plymouth Alive Kielbasa Festival on Friday afternoon. The festival continues Saturday with a parade and the famous kielbasa competition. Aimee Dilger | Times Leader

By Bill O’Boyle

[email protected]

Reach Bill O’Boyle at 570-991-6118 or on Twitter @TLBillOBoyle.

Reach Bill O’Boyle at 570-991-6118 or on Twitter @TLBillOBoyle.