Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Rolling out the rings of kielbasa

Workers scurry to feed the hungry crowds eager for a taste of Polish sausage, better known in these parts as kielbasa.

August 23. 2013 12:45AM

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So, early this week I’m walking through downtown Wilkes-Barre, see a bus and think it says KIELBASA.
Wait, no, it doesn’t. I blink my eyes and shake my head. The sign on the bus simply reports, in big electronic letters, that its destination is PLYMOUTH.
Surely my mistake is understandable.
After all, at least for this weekend, Plymouth and kielbasa are synonymous.
Today and tomorrow, the 10th annual Plymouth Kielbasa Festival will bring tons of the spicy Polish-style sausage to that tiny West Side community, offering an estimated 25,000 people each day a chance to sample a kielbasa they haven’t tried, or to stock up on their favorites.
Speaking of favorites, if you have a hankering for kielbasa from Fetch’s Smokehouse Meats in Wyoming, Bosak’s Choice Meats in Olyphant, Komensky’s market in Duryea, Tarnowski’s Market in Glen Lyon, Park Market in Nanticoke or Plains Meat Market in Wilkes-Barre, you probably already know they will be represented.
Whatever you prefer as far as spices (yeah, garlic!) and fat content (leaner is better, in my humble opinion) you’ll likely find something to please your palate at the Kielbasa Festival.
Even if you don’t like kielbasa at all, you can find other things to enjoy there.
If you visit the Plymouth Alive website and click onto a 9.5-minute video from last August, you’ll see everything from McGruff the Crime Dog greeting kids with a high-five to people handing out shiny Mardi Gras-style necklaces and waving balloons shaped like over-size crayons.
Bands were playing, mini cheerleaders and a color guard were marching, someone was selling collapsible baskets and vendors were offering chicken, and pizza, and pierogies, and candy.
One stand offered free samples of wine slushie. At another, someone had carved into a suckling pig. Abraham Lincoln and Batman made appearances along with several modern-day politicians.
Yes, it could have been just about any end-of-summer festival.
Except … hmm … folks were dancing the polka. There was a lot of accordion music. Still, you might find that at any bazaar.
Then, suddenly, a voice could be heard singing, something along the lines of “Let’s call the baby kielbasa … in case it’s our only son.”
OK. That clinches it. When you hear lyrics like that, where else would you be but the Plymouth Kielbasa Festival?

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