January 15

Rockland hosting Pies on Parade

Innkeepers challenge pastry lovers to sample 50 pies in three hours on Jan. 26.

By Meredith Goad mgoad@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

How much pie do you think you could eat in three hours?

click image to enlarge

Pies on Parade in Rockland on Jan. 26 features 25 venues serving sweet and savory pies. All proceeds from the event will benefit the Area Interfaith Outreach Food Pantry.

Courtesy photo

GUESTS OF the Berry Manor Inn and veterans of Pies on Parade have developed a list of survival tips to help newcomers eat as much pie as possible without making themselves sick or damaging their health. Here are a few of the suggestions:

Pre-schedule time at the gym on the Monday following to enjoy the pie parade guilt-free.

Plan your pie route in advance to optimize the number of pie stops you make in the allotted time.

Dress for success: Wear baggy pants with a stretchy waistband, comfortable shoes to power walk between pie venues and burn calories, and layers to accommodate the dash in and out of pie stops.

Forks are provided, but consider bringing your own cutlery – and water bottle – to save time and reduce waste.

Put extra tape on your “pie sticker ticket” so it adheres to your coat, hat or purse in any weather and allows you to flash it at the door to bypass the lines.

If you plan to “power pie” and make it to all stops, set the timer on your cellphone to keep you on schedule.

Pace the sweet pie intake. Start heavy on the savory pies, then move to the sweet pies to balance the sugar hit.

Conserve space in one’s “pie hole.” Share pie samples with friends to increase the number of pies one can taste.

Innkeepers in Rockland are throwing down the proverbial oven mitt. Their challenge: Sample 50 pies between 1 and 4 p.m. Jan. 26 during the 10th annual Pies on Parade.

This year’s event will cover a “pie route” that stops at 25 venues – some familiar, some new – that will serve the public 18,000 slices of pie over three hours. There will be a sweet and a savory pie at each stop.

And yes, apparently it’s possible to taste every single pie, if you pace yourself and don’t eat an entire slice at each stop.

“I’ve done it every year and we’ve always tasted all the pies,” said Marti Mayne, a marketer who helps the inns and other local businesses promote the event. “It’s a lot of pies to eat, but it’s fun. Almost everybody goes to all of them.”

Pies on Parade is a local celebration of National Pie Day (which actually falls on Jan. 23). Tickets are $25 per person, or $10 for children age 10 and under. All of the proceeds will be donated to the Area Interfaith Outreach Food Pantry. That $25 will feed a family of four three meals a day for four to five days.

“Every single cent goes to the food pantry,” Mayne said. “All of the inns and businesses pay for the pies that they make.”

The event usually sells out at 500 tickets, and sales are off to such a brisk start this year that organizers have added an extra 50 tickets.

Some of the newcomers this year, and their pies, include Art Space Gallery, which will serve an apricot almond pie; Breakwater Vineyards, which will serve pumpkin whoopie pies with unoaked chardonnay; and Over the Rainbow Yarns, which will serve a savory chicken cheesecake.

Archers on the Pier, Chowder House and the Winding Way B&B are also joining the party.

The definition of pie at Pies on Parade has been stretched a bit over the years to include shepherd’s pie (served in tasting cups), egg pies (also known as quiche), tarts, pot pies and pizza pie. The Captain Lindsey House Inn usually serves its signature Cornish meat pastie.

At 2:30 p.m. Saturday, the day before the big event, the Audubon Project Puffin Center will be giving a special tour of the center, featuring its Sweet Cream Puff(in) Pastry Pie, a cream puff-and-cookie concoction that looks like a little puffin.

There will even be little pies for dogs, courtesy of the Loyal Biscuit.

Don’t let all of the more unusual pies fool you. There will be plenty of traditional pies available, served in sliver-like slices so you can still walk to the next venue.

“We’ve gotten pie cutting down to a science, at least with the inns,” Mayne said. “The smallest piece of pie you can make, that we’ve found, is to cut the pie into 12 pieces. So the places that create actual pies cut them into 12 pieces. It’s the only way to really survive.”

Walking from venue to venue will help burn off all that pie. But if your stomach finally cries uncle, or you want to hit as many venues as possible within the short time frame, All Aboard Trolley will be providing transportation between stops.

Organizers suggest that ticket holders park at the Lincoln Street Center for the Arts, 24 Lincoln St., and then walk or catch the trolley from there.

(Continued on page 2)

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