Monday, April 29, 2013

Return to the Great American Pie Festival

by Meghann on April 29, 2013

Who loves pies?!

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I do! I do!

The Great American Pie Festival returned to Celebration, FL this past weekend and, after eating my heart out at the never-ending-pie buffet last year, this pie lover couldn’t wait to return.

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I knew a family member or two who couldn’t wait to return either. 😉

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I called my dad last weekend to ask him if he wanted to meet us at the pie festival again this year. I told him to think about it and call us when he had an answer. His response? Do you want hang up and I’ll immediately call back? Or should I just give you an answer now. He’s a funny one, my dad.

Celebration is actually a great middle ground for us to meet at. We drove an hour and 15 minutes from Tampa and they drove an hour and 15 minutes from Titusville. The word got out to my siblings and their spouse and the pie festival turned into a mini family reunion.

My aunt even showed up with her beau.

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Everyone loves pie, right?

We bought our tickets on site and were happy to see the prices didn’t change from last year.

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$10 for all you can eat pie. That’s really not a bad deal if you ask me.

Once we had our tickets, it was pie time!

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Just like last year, the streets were lined with vendors handing out copious amounts of pies.

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They had blueberry, cherry, apple, apple and raisin, cranberry and apple, peach, lemon meringue, raspberry lemonade, chocolate, peanut butter, etc. etc. etc. Too many flavors to name!

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We made the rookie mistake of diving right in and stuffing our faces from the get go. We grabbed multiple flavors from each table and started eating them while hopping in line for the next pie. It was too much pie, too soon (hello sugar loaded tummy ache!), but man it was good.

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After eating too much, too fast, I began to pace myself. Only trying a bite at a time and trying not to overdo it.   

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This was my stash from the Village Inn table.

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My favorite pie of the day was the dulce de leche from a vendor I didn’t catch the name of it. Oddly enough, I confirmed I’m not a chocolate pie fan. I don’t like chocolate pudding (or chocolate ice cream, really) and the chocolate pies tasted just like chocolate pudding – not for me. I was pleasantly surprised to see I did enjoy the more tart pies (Raspberry Lemonade from Village Inn was a favorite) and the pumpkin pie sadly did nothing for me in the nasty heat, I think it’s need to be Thanksgiving or Christmas to enjoy pumpkin. I was happy to see the peanut butter cream from Wick’s was back. Definitely a favorite from last year and still a favorite today.

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Mmm…. pie.

Dunkin Donuts was also in attendance giving out iced coffee.

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I tried the iced strawberry shortcake.

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I didn’t mind the strawberry undertone in the coffee, but unfortunately it was too sweet. Blah. I can not stand sweetened coffee. I had a couple of sips before giving up on it.

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We had a lot of fun jumping from pie-to-pie at the buffet. However, I did notice that even though it seemed like the crowds had picked up from last year, they were missing a couple of vendors. Or maybe it just seemed more crowded because there weren’t as many vendors handing out pie?

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Once we were all fully stuffed, we headed to the other side of the festival and caught an Iron Chef pie making competition.

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Once again I was super impressed with the kids’ activities at the festival. They could decorate chef hats, make their own pies, and decorate pie crusts. I was kind of jealous of all the cool things they could do and wish I had a niece or nephew to explore with.

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Overall the festival was a blast. It was a little hot and crowded, but we survived. The only downside was no pie made it home.

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No carry-outs?! Pshh….

Have you ever been to a food festival?

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