Local politicians celebrate Dyngus Day for the first time since COVID

NOW: Local politicians celebrate Dyngus Day for the first time since COVID

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Dyngus Day was here again in Michiana-- and local politicians from the federal, state, county and local levels all came out to celebrate the start of Indiana primary election season. 

“It’s important that voters and residents get the change to meet their candidates up close and personal before they make their choice in a couple weeks for the primary," Mayor James Mueller explained. 

Democratic candidates gathered at the West Side Democratic and Civic Club in South Bend-- for Polish plates of sausage and pickled cabbage, after Mayor Mueller temporarily renamed Ford Street as Dyngus Day Drive.

Republican candidates like Indiana US Senator Todd Young and Congresswoman Jackie Walorski met up at Allie's Café on Mishawaka Avenue.

“You don’t have to be Polish today, but it sure helps if you are, because it’s part of our tradition!" joked Walorski-- who sampled more than just the kielbasa at Allie's: “I just got free goulash! A veteran just walked in and said ‘I made you goulash,’" she said. "When else other than Dyngus Day do you get homemade goulash?"

Even if they're not on the ballot-- the elected officials who came out said that making the community's voices heard in the upcoming election is incredibly important.

“People are here for a reason, and it’s to register that they are getting involved and staying involved in the direction of their country," said Young.

“There’s a lot at stake in the future of all levels of our government, from the top, federal level, right down to the county level," Mueller said. 

But this year, there was more to Dyngus Day than just the primary campaign kickoff.

“I hope it’s a Dyngus Day to remember because the last three years are the last time we missed Dyngus Day, so this is the beginning of the new era—a long stretch of having Dyngus and Solidarity Day!” said Mueller. 

“I think it’s a lot of fun, finally being able to mix with people and talk with them in person!" said Young. "We don’t have to Zoom! We can come here, and break bread, and talk about the importance of politics!”

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