HOUTZDALE — If you’re a big fan of pierogies, haluski, kielbasa and other Polish food, Houtzdale is the place to be on Sunday as St. Barbara’s Polish National Catholic Church is hosting its annual Dozynki (Harvest) Fest this Sunday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the church — located at 76 Emery Ave., Houtzdale (across from SCI Houtzdale).
Festival Chairperson Crissy Lidgett said church volunteers have been cooking food all week in preparation for the thousands that will flock to the area.
“We’ve always had Polish food — it’s the highlight of (the festival),” Lidgett said. “Our goal is to try and keep the Polish tradition. This is one of our biggest fundraisers. We’re a small church and we need these big fundraisers to stay open. It’s a family-oriented tradition.”
The “Polish Platter” is the biggest seller and consists of pierogies, haluski, halupki, a kielbasa sandwich and a drink.
“You can also get (the Polish items) separately as well,” Lidgett said.
Church volunteers make and sell roughly 50,000 pierogies each year — with everything about them being homemade. Lidgett said last year, they sold more than 5,000 pierogies at the festival.
“We ran out of food last year by 5 p.m.,” Lidgett said. “So we upped our game this year and the goal is not to run out this year.”
Lidgett said most of the volunteers and their families have been with the church since the start of the festival, originating more than 45 years ago.
“Our normal crew ranges from people about 80-years-old to people in their 60s,” Lidgett said. “Then other ones come (and volunteer) when they can. They’re definitely hard workers.”
One of the new items at this year’s festival will be a booth that has Polish memorabilia.
“We’ve got some shirts, flags, keychains and magnets (to sell),” Lidgett said. “We thought we’d add that in for our Polish people in the area.”
If you’re not a fan of Polish food, Lidgett said you can still enjoy the festival. There will also be an American food booth, 18 different vendors, a softball tournament, a basket raffle, kid’s games and activities, a bar and games of chance. The Vagabonds will be playing from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. and a DJ will take over from 5-7 p.m.
“There’s something for everybody,” Lidgett said.