Stage AE

October 18
Noon – 5 p.m.

There are more than five ways to spell it and countless things to put inside it. It has its own national day (October 8th) in the US, and is immortalized by a 25-foot-tall, 6,000-pound roadside sculpture in Alberta, Canada. If there is one food that is synonymous with Pittsburgh (move over Heinz ketchup), it’s got to be the pierogi. Here in the Burgh, where eastern European heritage runs deep, we don’t just love (and eat) pierogies, we turn them into mascots that race during Pirates games and we set Guinness World Records with them.

The beloved semicircular dumpling may be small but it packs a punch in terms of flavor. So whether you prefer them boiled, baked or fried, there’s only one place you want to be on Saturday, October 18th. Setting up shop at Stage AE, the second annual Pittsburgh Pierogi Fest boasts more than 20 local pierogi purveyors and an afternoon of dumpling related programming. Serving up all things pierogi, as well as creative pierogi-­inspired dishes, featured vendors will prepare everything from the traditional to the whimsical.

Presented by Mrs. T’s Pierogies, the fest is back with a bigger and tastier edition to celebrate the City of Dumplings. Expect old-school offerings from local favorites such as Penn Brewery, S&D Polish Deli, The Pittsburgh Pierogi Truck, Gosia’s, Ohio City Pasta and Harris Grill. Tempt your taste buds as you sample new twists on the pierogi crafted by Cop Out Pierogies and Braddock’s American Brasserie.

Ready to try a pierogi taco or a pierogi grilled cheese? Some of Pittsburgh’s top eateries will whip up adventurous non-­traditional dishes, including Franktuary’s Pierogi Dog, Happy Camper Cupcakes’ sweet treats, Pittsburgh Smokehouse’s Smokey ‘Rogi and PGH Taco Truck’s Pierogi Taco. Newcomer Passion Bakery promises 13 different varieties, while Square Café and Uncle Charley’s are teaming up with Pierogies Plus to create some very savory surprises. Vegetarian pierogies will also be served.

Feeling thirsty from all of that dough? Wash it all down with some refreshing Turner’s Iced Tea or Yuengling.

Pop into the event’s pierogi-themed marketplace to shop for handmade wares (think pierogi aprons and pillows), including t-shirts, jewelry, pottery and festival merchandise. Meet the famous Pirates’ Racing Pierogies and design your own pierogi with Paint Monkey during the festival’s family-friendly activities for children of all ages. Pop into the Shutterbooth to create a keepsake commemorating the delicious day.

Providing the day’s festive soundtrack will be live music by the Mon Valley Push Polka Band, Good Brother Earl, Ciganska Krv and DJ Pandemic.

Up to 7,000 people are expected to attend the event, which will utilize Stage AE as an indoor and outdoor venue. A portion of the proceeds from ticket and pierogi sales will benefit the Downtown-based nonprofit Riverlife, which works to reclaim, restore and promote Pittsburgh’s riverfronts.

Tickets are $12.50. Children 12 and under are free.

Jennifer has worked at the Mattress Factory, Brooklyn Museum of Art and Dahesh Museum of Art and is co-author of Pittsburgh Signs Project: 250 Signs of Western Pennsylvania. She also is co-coordinator of Handmade Arcade. Musically, she is in a band called The Garment District and is a founding member of Brooklyn's The Ladybug Transistor.