Kielbasa Cookoff organizers hope to start new Polish festival away from 'Polish Village'

Kielbasa Cookoff organizers hope to start new Polish festival away from 'Polish Village'

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - It's an event that's all about Polish pride.

On Saturday, the Sixth Annual Kielbasa Cookoff was held at St. Clement's Hall on Tremainsville in west Toledo.

Organizers say they're about to take on another Polish tradition that was recently canceled, the Polish-American festival.

The cookoff featured homemade kielbasa from old family recipes.

Folks came out to sample the sausage, vote on their favorite and watch Toledo's Kielbasa King or Queen get crowned.

"Lots of hard work and family love," said Jeremy Pryba of his kielbasa.

Kielbasa Cookoff is sponsored by the group PACT, Polish-American Community of Toledo.

The group hopes to duplicate it's cookoff success by reviving what it's calling the 'REAL' Polish-American Festival.

"It's deteriorated. People have vanished so I think a new location would be better," said Mike Katafiasue, about the Old Polish Village in north Toledo.

Earlier this year, sponsors of the LaGrange Street Polish Festival, United North, canceled this year's event citing staffing problems and street construction.

But former residents of Toledo's Polish Village say Lagrange Street is no longer a Polish neighborhood and neither is the festival.

"Not anymore. It used to be many years ago, my father's time. But not recently," said Mel Kolcinski.

The PACT board will vote on a new date for next year, either April or May.

Two locations are under consideration: The Rec Center in Maumee or Club 16 at King Road and Hill Avenue.

"You're going to be seeing a lot of real Polish food. Not only kielbasa and paczki but traditional pastry and all the other goodies you can get here today," said Jack Sparogowski of PACT.

The PACT board is expected to vote on the new festival in the coming week.

As for the winners of the cookoff, the big win was a tie! Zbilski Kielbasa and Polska Pryba were named the 2017 champs!

Follow WTOL:  

Download our app here

Copyright 2017 WTOL. All rights reserved