Perch, Peach, Pierogi & Polka Festival
When I heard about the Perch Peach Pierogi & Polka Festival in Port Clinton Ohio, I had to go. Sometimes I am drawn to things for unexplainable reasons, although alliteration always appeals. My family was already planning to be in the area for our annual Labor Day campout. We often take at least one day trip away from East Harbor State Park and this year the festival became our outing.
On Saturday September 4, my mom and I battled 15 - 25 mph headwinds to bike our way there, a little over 8 miles. The rest of the troops arrived by car.
The festival was just getting started when we arrived so we took the opportunity to order food in short lines after paying $3 per adult admission. The menu was limited to nearly exactly what was advertised: perch dinner or sandwich, pierogis, peach cobbler, a few beverages, and, strangely, pizza. Patrons bought tokens for each food item and then delivered tokens to the cafeteria style service tables.
The pierogis were delicious, if only of the standard potato and onion variety. Very uniform in appearance, they were either frozen from a big manufacturer or possibly fresh from a smaller place. I found myself wanting for pepper to cut the heavy butter sauce.
The perch was fresh caught Lake Erie Yellow Perch, perfectly deep fried. The accompanying fries were fresh too. The complimentary side of coleslaw was over sweetened but edible.
We debated the homemade-ness of the peach cobbler. The peaches were undoubtedly fresh and probably from a local grower. The pie crust tasted less homemade, but thick and buttery to be sure. The dessert large enough to share was topped with your choice of vanilla or peach Tofts ice cream, a creamery local to Sandusky Ohio.
I would never consider myself a judge of polka music, but the band playing when we were there was well synched, in tune, and fun to listen to. Surprisingly the polka was the most enjoyable part of the festival for me; there were some serious and perhaps competitive dancers who were a joy to watch.
Will I hit up the 'quad P' fest next year? Most likely not. It was an entertaining afternoon but no part was so outstanding or exciting that I feel a need to return soon. However, if you happen to be near Port Clinton on the first weekend in September, it is worth a stop at least once.