Rolling Out the Pies

Pie lovers worldwide head for the 2008 Great American Pie Festival.

| April 11, 2008

From fruit to sweet potato, chocolate to custard, pumpkin to citrus, and nuts to berries, all matter of pie flavors and fillings will flow April 19-20 at the 2008 Great American Pie Festival in Celebration, Florida. More than 25,000 pie lovers from all over the world are expected to visit during the two-day event.

Presented by the American Pie Council and sponsored by Crisco, the popular festival returns with activities that have made it a family favorite for six years. The American Pie Council is the only organization committed to maintaining America’s pie heritage, passing on the tradition of pie-making and promoting America’s love affair with pie.

The highlight of the festival is the Never Ending Pie Buffet, a smorgasbord of 50,000 award-winning slices from local, regional and national commercial bakeries, restaurants and markets, including Bakers Square and Village Inn restaurants; Publix SuperMarkets Inc.; Schwan’s Bakery featuring Edwards; Bonert’s Slice of Pie; Harlan Bakeries; Rocky Mountain Pies; and Wick’s Pies. An array of ice cream flavors and toppings from The J.M. Smucker Co. and Publix will be available to help everyone to create their ultimate slice of pie.

Between trips to the buffet, attendees will enjoy pie-eating contests, baking demonstrations, food and beverage vendors, more than 20 craft vendors and live entertainment. Youngsters can make their own pies at the Crisco Kids Creation Station, make pie tin art, create a “PieCaso” painting or play in inflatable bounce house, on a rock-climbing wall or on the world’s largest pinball machine.

While attendees enjoy the food and fun of the free-admission festival, the competition heats up for the APC/Crisco National Pie Championships April 18-20, at the Orlando Sun Resort by Lexington in Kissimmee. The nation’s leading commercial, professional, amateur and junior chef pie bakers will vie for top honors in each category. The grand prize in the amateur and professional divisions is $5,000. Last year’s winners submitted versions of Key Lime, Strawberry Cream and “Funky Monkey” pies. For the recipe for FunkyMonkey Pie, click here.

The baking competitions are not open to the public. The award ceremonies for the Amateur and Professional divisions, however, will be part of the festival, with the Amateur awards presented at 6:45 p.m. April 19, and the Professional and Junior Chef awards presented at 2 p.m. April 20.

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