My husband, Dave, is a pie connoisseur — a serious pie buff. He will tuck into samples of almost 50 different sweet and savory pies at the eighth annual Pies On Parade from 1 to 5 p.m. Jan. 22 at restaurants and inns throughout Rockland. Tickets include recipes, souvenirs and plenty of pie to sample. Make a weekend of it and enjoy add-ons such as wine-and-pie pairings, inn tours, tastings and special museum events.

Rockland’s inns and restaurants serve up everything from shepherd’s pie to gourmet pizza, French galettes, Cornish meat pasties, seafood quiche — and even a grilled pie! Don’t miss Maine’s signature dessert, the whoopie pie, or the Key LimeRock pie at the LimeRock Inn.

Traditionalists can feast on favorites like apple, raspberry and blueberry pie along with a newly developed cranberry-apple pie. I love the Granite Inn’s lobster quiche, and Dave is a huge fan of the Pie Ladies at Berry Manor Inn, whose pie-making skills attracted the attention of Bobby Flay for a now-legendary “throwdown.”

Best of all, Rockland businesses have added healthy pies (not an oxymoron) to the list. Last year, Fiore served up a beautiful pie prepared with artisanal olive oil. Rheal Day Spa has developed the “Not Too Sweet” sweet potato pie — gluten free, with the antioxidants of sweet potatoes. Or try their refined sugar-free, lavender, honey and yogurt pie — wow.

More than 20 Rockland inns and restaurants participate, plus several area businesses including the Maine Lighthouse Museum, Maine Audubon Puffin Project, and Sweets & Meats Gourmet Market.

While walking between venues helps burn calories, All Aboard Trolley provides trolley and limo service to make it easy to hit as many pie stops as possible. Tour-goers may park at the centrally located Lincoln Street Center for the Arts and walk or hop the trolley to participating venues.

Proceeds from this event benefit the Area Interfaith Outreach Food Pantry. Over the past seven years nearly $40,000 has been donated from this event to help provide food for hungry midcoast families. This year’s donation will likely make the $50,000 mark.

For information on weekend packages: or 1-877-ROC-INNS (877-762-4667)