Plymouth’s Kielbasa Festival continues ‘bringing people together’

By Geri Gibbons - For Times Leader
Patrons make their way along Main Street in Plymouth during the 15th annual Plymouth Alive Original Kielbasa Festival on Saturday. Event organizers were pleased rain held off until the parade was complete. - Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader
Event emcee Terry Womelsdorf announces entries in the kielbasa competition on Saturday during the Kielbasa Festival in downtown Plymouth. - Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader
Another of the decorated entries of fresh kielbasa to be sampled in the famous competition. - Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader
One of the decorated entries of fresh kielbasa to be sampled in the judging competition at the 15th annual Plymouth Alive Original Kielbasa Festival. - - Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader
Judge Eric McDermott, left, samples an entry of fresh kielbasa from presenter Kristi Ktytor, of Plymouth, during the kielbasa competition at the Kielbasa Festival on Saturday. - - Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader
Kielbasa Man enters the American Legion Shawnee Post 463 before the judging competition at the 15th annual Plymouth Alive Original Kielbasa Festival on Saturday. - - Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader

PLYMOUTH – A little rain couldn’t stop Cathy Sobocinski from coming to the 15th annual Plymouth Alive Original Kielbasa Festival on Saturday to gather with family members and reconnect with childhood friends.

Sobocinski, who graduated from Larksville High School in 1965 and now lives in New Jersey, said the festival provides a chance for family members to travel back to the area and enjoy “cousins weekend.”

To Cathy’s husband, Ray, a 1963 graduate of the same high school, the event is especially enjoyable because of the variety of kielbasa available as attendees make their way down Main Street.

When asked about his favorite kielbasa, Ray Sobocinski smiled and pointed to Komensky’s Kielbasa tent.

“We even have it shipped to us at Christmas time,” he said.

Jean Shander, also a family member who now lives in West Chester, describes the event as a reunion for those who hail from Plymouth.

Frank Coughlin, borough councilman and member of Plymouth Alive, the organization that sponsors the event, emphasized the old fashioned spirit that brought people to Main Street for a chance to visit with neighbors and longtime friends.

“It’s a chance to raise money for worthy organizations,” he said. “But mostly, it’s just bringing people together to the downtown area.”

Coughlin said he was very happy that rain held off until the event’s annual parade completed its journey down Main Street.

“There were fire and emergency vehicles from Plymouth and surrounding towns,” he said. “The high school band and many other entries.”

Scott Cannon, a longtime Plymouth resident and member of Plymouth Alive, grabbed his camera and took to his bike on both Friday and Saturday to let people know what was going on via Facebook.

“It’s really nice that people can see what’s happening in real time,” he said. “It generates enthusiasm to come down to the festival.”

John and Lori Bunga came all the way from Altoona for the first time because they heard about the event.

Longtime kielbasa fans, the Bungas were undeterred by rain as they made their way through the downtown sampling various types of Polish and other foods.

“We traveled for hours to get here,” said Lori Bunga. “Nothing is going to stop us now.”

The winners are …

The event’s annual kielbasa competition, held at the American Legion, brought a temporary reprieve from the rain and entertainment for over 60 of those hoping to find out who had the best fresh and smoked kielbasa.

Event mascot Kielbasa Man opened up the competition greeting attendees, bringing cheers from the crowd.

When the votes were counted, the winners in the fresh portion placed as follows: first, Bozak’s Choice Meats of Olyphant; second, Komensky’s of Duryea; and third, Tarnowski’s Kielbasa of Glen Lyon.

Pleasing judges in the smoked category: first, Komensky’s; second, Uncle Buck’s BBQ of Plymouth; third, a tie between Bozak’s and Tarnowski’s.

Patrons make their way along Main Street in Plymouth during the 15th annual Plymouth Alive Original Kielbasa Festival on Saturday. Event organizers were pleased rain held off until the parade was complete.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/web1_TTL081218Kielbasa_6.jpgPatrons make their way along Main Street in Plymouth during the 15th annual Plymouth Alive Original Kielbasa Festival on Saturday. Event organizers were pleased rain held off until the parade was complete. Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader

Event emcee Terry Womelsdorf announces entries in the kielbasa competition on Saturday during the Kielbasa Festival in downtown Plymouth.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/web1_TTL081218Kielbasa_5.jpgEvent emcee Terry Womelsdorf announces entries in the kielbasa competition on Saturday during the Kielbasa Festival in downtown Plymouth. Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader

Another of the decorated entries of fresh kielbasa to be sampled in the famous competition.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/web1_TTL081218Kielbasa_4.jpgAnother of the decorated entries of fresh kielbasa to be sampled in the famous competition. Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader

One of the decorated entries of fresh kielbasa to be sampled in the judging competition at the 15th annual Plymouth Alive Original Kielbasa Festival.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/web1_TTL081218Kielbasa_3.jpgOne of the decorated entries of fresh kielbasa to be sampled in the judging competition at the 15th annual Plymouth Alive Original Kielbasa Festival. Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader

Judge Eric McDermott, left, samples an entry of fresh kielbasa from presenter Kristi Ktytor, of Plymouth, during the kielbasa competition at the Kielbasa Festival on Saturday.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/web1_TTL081218Kielbasa_2.jpgJudge Eric McDermott, left, samples an entry of fresh kielbasa from presenter Kristi Ktytor, of Plymouth, during the kielbasa competition at the Kielbasa Festival on Saturday. Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader

Kielbasa Man enters the American Legion Shawnee Post 463 before the judging competition at the 15th annual Plymouth Alive Original Kielbasa Festival on Saturday.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/web1_TTL081218Kielbasa_1.jpgKielbasa Man enters the American Legion Shawnee Post 463 before the judging competition at the 15th annual Plymouth Alive Original Kielbasa Festival on Saturday. Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader

By Geri Gibbons

For Times Leader