PLYMOUTH — Doris May met her daughter, Cheryl, for lunch Friday at the 10th annual Plymouth Kielbasa Festival — something they do every year.
Sitting at a table near the bandshell, the borough residents basked in the sunshine, watching hundreds of people walk up and down the Main Street.
“It’s good to see Plymouth come alive again,” Doris said as she ate pierogis and potato pancakes. “This festival always brings in a lot of people to the town.”
The Kielbasa Festival gives people the opportunity to see the positive side of Plymouth, Cheryl said.
More than 95 vendors had set up booths, selling items such as jewelry, T-shirts, sunglasses and candle warmers, plus ample amounts of food: corn on the cob, gyros, pizza, funnel cakes, nachos, garlic vinegar, lemonade and — of course — kielbasa.
Meanwhile, Chris Evans, co-owner of Thomas’ Markets, was displaying rib eye steak sandwiches, hot and sweet sausage with peppers and onions, haluski, pierogi and kielbasa. “This is great exposure for us,” Evans said. “It allows our customers to try products they might not normally buy in the store.”
Gail and Tammy Bosak, co-owners (with their husbands, Tom and Mark) were setting up their stand. Bosak’s has fared well in the annual Kielbasa Contest and proudly displayed their trophies at the stand.
This year’s contest has a special meaning, Tammy Bosak said. Her mother-in-law, Genevieve Bosak, passed away in January.
“She loved our kielbasa,” Tammy said. “We really want to win this year to honor her memory.”
Another strong competitor in the Kielbasa Contest is Komensky’s Market in Duryea. Brenda Sepelyak, wife of owner Rob Sepelyak, brought a huge “to-do list” to assure nothing was forgotten. But the kielbasa recipe was not on the list.
“I honestly don’t know it,” she said. “My husband is the only one who does; he prepares all the kielbasa. It’s not even written down anywhere.”
The festival gives people the opportunity to enjoy kielbasa at a time other than Easter or Christmas, Sepelyak said. “This is like a holiday,” she said.
A bouquet of kielbasa, peppers and other items graced the table at Tarnowkski’s Kielbasa Stand. Anastasia and John Vishnefski, owners, have been preparing for the 2013 festival since the conclusion of last year’s event.
“We’ve really changed it up,” Anastasia said. “We will be much better prepared for this year’s contest.”
She said a “Kielbasa bride” will be at the stand today to hold the kielbasa bouquet and pose for pictures, and a special appearance will be made by the 2005 Kielbasa Festival king.
Terry Womelsdorf, president of Plymouth Alive, and Jaynan Temerantz, vice president, were busy setting up the Kids’ Zone at Carolina and Main streets, making room for two bouncy rooms as the other stands, such as face-painting and other games, were already accepting customers.
“We urge everyone to come to town,” Womelsdorf said. “We have great food, games and music all day and night, and the weather is great.”