SHENANDOAH — Thousands of people are expected to pack one community in Schuylkill County this weekend to celebrate a tasty treat it’s become known for.
The Shenandoah Kielbasi Festival is Saturday and for the three big kielbasi makers in town, it takes a lot of work to get all that meat ready.
Kielbasi Kabobs are just one of the kielbasi concoctions Lucky’s Kielbasa shop plans to serve up at this year’s Shenandoah Kielbasi Festival.
This place and the other three kielbasi makers in town have a lot of people to feed. They are the stars of the festival.
“It’s overwhelming the people that come in. Thousands upon thousands have come. Every year it’s gotten bigger,” said David Lukashunas.
And feeding all the crowds takes a lot of work and a lot of kielbasi.
“When they come in, the first thing the customers say is ‘are you ready for tomorrow?’ and I just go, ‘OK, yeah,'” laughed Janet Lukashunas.
At Kowalonek’s Kielbasy Shop there’s also a lot of meat to make and a lot of customers to please. This place has been making this Shenandoah specialty for a century.
“We try every year to up our game a little bit, stay on top of it. We prepare a lot for this. It’s one of our big events of the year,” said Jessica Hannis.
In recent years the crowd for the festival has grown to more than 5,000 and each year it has gotten bigger.
“It’s definitely a big preparation. It’s a fun day for us for the most part. It’s a lot of work but we try to make it not look like a lot of work,” Hannis said.
For a festival that’s expected to draw thousands to Shenandoah, the organizers sure are glad the forecast for Saturday doesn’t call for rain.
“It looks like we have a good crowd coming. We’ve had phone calls all day from people looking for directions from all over the state,” said Main Street manager Mary Luscavage.
And while there’s a lot of work to prepare, plenty of Eastern European treats will be waiting.
“We have halushki, halupki, bandki, babka, pierogies and of course kielbasi!”
The Shenandoah Kielbasi Festival runs from 11a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.