EDWARDSVILLE, Pa. — John J. Hopkins Memorial Park in Edwardsville was packed for the kick-off of the annual Pierogi Festival.
The crowd, the lines, and the homemade pierogis were a sight for many sore eyes in the area, but especially the vendors who tell Newswatch 16 they're happy to be back on the festival circuit.
"Man, this is the first one since the big COVID, and it's great," said Brian Gardner with Uncle Buck's BBQ. "And I think everybody's ready for it. Everybody's coming out, and we got the food to serve them."
"Oh, it's fun, it's a great time to get out to all the people start sharing all of our fun fair food," said Ann Elick at Maddy's Dog House.
"It's great, it's great just the interaction with the people and the crowd, and everybody's excited to be out. It's like everybody's out and about and just loving life is back to normal," said Keith Dobitas with Boppin' Beans.
The vendors aren't the only ones thrilled with the return of Edwardsville's Pierogi Festival, but attendees to fill the parking lot here are too.
"It's really nice," said Benji Garcia of Edwardsville. "It's nice to get outside after it was a long year with COVID-19 and everything."
"This year, it's a little bit more spaced out, but it definitely feels nice to be back to almost how we were before," said Chyanne Fine of Hanover Township.
Some vendors spent their time away from events like this, coming up with some new items for people to try.
"So there's the pierogi grilled cheese from Polish Connection; 10 out of 10 recommended is so good," added Fine. "It's so cheesy. They use a potato and cheese pierogis in it, and it's so good."
The Edwardsville Pierogi Festival continues Saturday with a parade at 11 a.m. in Luzerne County.