Grain Belt Nordeast is on tap at the first-ever Kielbasa Festival, hosted by the increasingly popular European deli Kramarczuk's. The parking lot next to the Northeast restaurant will be packed with musicians, sausages, and people dressed like sausages—no joke. Before the last band plays each night, the festival will crown a Kielbasa King and Queen, a distinction to be made based on the best costume, whether European- or meat-themed. The $10 ticket price gets you a free beer and a souvenir stein. Also for sale are commemorative t-shirts and prints by local poster artist Adam Turman. Kramarczuk's will sell street food, of course, and will introduce the "ultimate" kielbasa, a recipe determined by contest prior to the event. A continuous music schedule includes Romantica (pop-folk led by an Irishman); Patty and the Buttons (New Orleans-style jazz); the Brass Barn Polka Band (polka by U of M students); and folk music from the Ukraine, Finland, Poland, and Russia. You might have noticed Kramarczuk's only recently at the State Fair and the Twins stadium, but it has been around more than 50 years. The deli smokes more than 40 varieties of sausages in-house and makes everything from scratch. A European market and bakery adjoins the restaurant, featuring fresh-made kolachi and apple strudel.
Fri., Sept. 10, 5-10 p.m.; Sat., Sept. 11, 11 a.m.-10 p.m., 2010