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Published: Wednesday, 7/6/2011

It's Polish festival time on Lagrange

Annual event starts on Friday

BY CARL RYAN
BLADE STAFF WRITER
A pierogi-eating contest is set for 6 p.m. Saturday. Contestants must be at least 18 and will be limited to 20 pierogi each. Winners will be determined by the number of pierogi eaten in three minutes. A pierogi-eating contest is set for 6 p.m. Saturday. Contestants must be at least 18 and will be limited to 20 pierogi each. Winners will be determined by the number of pierogi eaten in three minutes.
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It's that time of the year again in Toledo's Polish Village neighborhood, when kielbasa and pierogi sizzle to the sounds of polka.

The Lagrange Street Polish Festival kicks off Friday, when it runs from 5 p.m. to midnight, and continues Saturday (noon to midnight), and Sunday (noon to 7 p.m.).

The festival, in its 28th year, is organized by United North, the North Toledo neighborhood's community development corporation, and is believed to be Toledo's largest street festival, attracting 25,000 to 30,000 visitors.

Last year it raised about $50,000 that the organization used for neighborhood improvements, including painting and landscaping and sprucing up the business district, according to Terry Glazer, United North's chief executive officer.

This year's attendance could top 2010's, if the weather is good, he said.

"Every year, attendance increases. It's very expensive to put on and very weather dependent," he explained.

Regular admission is $4. For visitors with a Golden Buckeye Card, admission is $3. Children 8 and younger are admitted free. Sunday's admission is $2.

The venue is Lagrange Street between Central Avenue and Mettler Street. Parking will be available on nearby streets and in pay lots. There also will be $1 parking at Central Catholic High School, from which a shuttle bus will make frequent round trips. Children can ride for free.

A festival highlight will be the pierogi-eating contest set for 6 p.m. Saturday. Contestants must be at least 18 and will be limited to 20 pierogi each. Winners will be determined by the number of pierogi eaten in three minutes.

The festival will have a high school reunion area, where classmates can meet. Old yearbooks will be available.

Thursday, United North will hold its Raise the Curtain party from 5 to 10 p.m. in the parking lot of the Ohio Theatre, 3115 Lagrange St.

There will be beer and wine and food from Stanley's Market. Partygoers are requested to make a donation for the planned renovation of the theater, which is being done in phases. The first stage will involve mechanical, electrical, and bathroom work, all of which is expected to cost about $500,000, Mr. Glazer said.



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