Food made by Hamtramck’s Polish Village Cafe
By Barb Pert Templeton
So, Oct. 8 is National Pierogi Day, a date set aside to enjoy the delicacy, which are Polish dumplings stuffed with cheese or potato or any number of delish ingredients.
Keeping that in mind, the non-profit group, Algonac Alive, will host their annual Pierogi Fest at Algonac VFW Post #3901, on Thursday, Oct. 5 with doors open at 5 p.m. and dinner served from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. Tickets are $25 and include a full polish menu plus a cash bar. All tickets must be purchased in advance there will be no ticket sales at the door.
To get the scoop about the popular annual dinner in the city Blue Water Healthy Living caught up with Algonac Alive member Denice Gerstenberg.
Blue Water Healthy Living: How long has this event been hosted in Algonac? Has it always been at the VFW?
Denice Gerstenberg: The first Pierogi Fest was in 2019. Yes, it has always been at VFW.
BWHL: Why Pierogies? Is there any special affiliation with that food and the VFW or perhaps it’s membership?
Gerstenberg: October 8 is National Pierogi Day. No special affiliation with the VFW. However, there are many area residents with German and Polish ancestry. And there are no Polish or German restaurants in the area. Polish Village Café has been around since 1976 and are well-known for their delicious Polish food.
BWHL: What’s actually on the menu this year?
Gerstenberg: Golabki (stuffed cabbage) smoked and fresh kielbasa, cheese, potato and mushroom pierogis, sour cream and cucumbers with dill, kolaczki (Polish cookies) and Chrusciki (Angel Wings). Last year we ran out of kolaczki and chrusciki so we are ordering more this year.
BWHL: Hamtramck Polish Village Café is a popular venue how did they end up coming to Algonac?
Gerstenberg: A number of Algonac Alive members grew up visiting the Polish Village Café with their families. Member Diane Chmielewski contacted Carolyn at PVC.
BWHL: Do you find just having them preparing the food for the event is a big draw?
Gerstenberg: Yes, we believe people come because they are familiar with the PVC.
BWHL: What else goes on at the festival – music, raffles, auctions?
Gerstenberg: There will be Polish music and dancers. The dancers are a group called Wawel Folk Ensemble.
BWHL: How many tickets are usually sold for this event?
Gerstenberg: Ticket sales are typically between 110 and 220.
BWHL: If this is a fundraiser for Algonac Alive, can you talk a bit about the group and what they do in the city?
Gerstenberg: Algonac Alive tries to provide events for the community. Having only been a 501c3 since 2019, we have established as our signature events the National Night Out/Touch A Truck Event (free), PierogiFest, Halloween in the ‘Nac (free), Quiet Christmas for Special Needs children and their families (free) and we partner with the City of Algonac and Woodside Church for the annual Christmas Tree Lighting & Nativity (free).
BWHL: Are the funds this year earmarked for anything in particular for Algonac Alive?
Gerstenberg: All funds go towards providing free events for the community.
BWHL: Does the VFW also get a cut of the money raised that day?
Gerstenberg: The VFW keeps all the profits from the cash bar.
BWHL: What do you personally enjoy about the Pierogi Fest in the city?
Gerstenberg: The opportunity to enjoy the best Polish food around!
Note: No tickets will be sold at the door. To purchase tickets, visit Algonac Chiropractic, Algona City Hall, the Algonac VFW Hall, Amiels Enterprises, Fyzical Therapy & Balance Center and Lifecare Chiropractic.