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Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Great American Pie Festival is this weekend in Celebration

Want free pie this weekend? The first person to comment on this story on ultimateorlando.com (not twitter or facebook) will win a four-pack of tickets to the all-you-can-eat pie celebration discussed below, which takes place this weekend (obviously, only comment if you are able to be here and collect the tickets!)

ORLANDO (April 4, 2011) -- On April 9 and 10, 2011, pie lovers, tasters and bakers will gather in Celebration, Fla., for two very sweet days at the APC Great American Pie Festival sponsored by Crisco®. Now in its tenth year, this pie extravaganza dishes up luscious layers of fun for the young and the young at heart. Whether looking to enjoy some of the most delectable desserts in America or simply partake in one of the many entertainment and baking demonstrations staged along Main Street in one of America's most charming small towns, attendees are sure to enjoy pure pie perfection.


From top crust to two crust, juicy to sweet, chocolate to custard all matter of flavors and fillings will flow forth for two full days in April to the delight of an anticipated 28,000 pie lovers from around the world.

Presented by the American Pie Council® (APC) - an organization dedicated to preserving America's pie heritage - the popular festival returns to Celebration with all the activities that have made it a favorite event for families and remains free open to the public.

Whether bonafide pie lovers or casual nibblers looking for an afternoon of fun, Orlando residents and visitors are invited to stroll through the free-admission festival and enjoy two days of family fun, reminiscent of days gone by. The Crisco® Kids Creation Station will give aspiring young bakers an opportunity to create their own pies or enjoy some fun with pie decorating, pie-scaping, Piecasso tin art and many more activities! The Pietopia Demonstration Stage sponsored by Village Inn and Bakers Square Restaurants will feature entertainment and baking demonstrations with chefs from across the country. Of course, the Great American Pie Festival would not be complete without a Pie Eating Contest, sponsored by Private Selection. Attendees may opt to dig in and compete or simply sit back and enjoy the show. All festival events will be held both days.
As the festival favorite for the past nine years, the Never Ending Pie Buffet will once again feature an all you can eat smorgasbord of 83,000 award-winning pie slices - up from 70,000 in recent years -- as well as ice cream, toppings and beverages from local, regional and national commercial bakeries, restaurants and markets, including Bakers Square Restaurants and Pies, Bonert's Slice of Pie, California Raisin Marketing Board, J. Horner's Desserts, Kroger's Private Selection, Publix Super Markets, Inc., Rocky Mountain Pies, Smucker's Toppings, The Folger Coffee Company, Village Inn, Wick's Pies and Winn-Dixie. This is the only paid event at the festival. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for seniors over 65 and children under 5 to enjoy all they care to eat and drink.

The 17th Annual American Pie Council/ Crisco® National Pie Championships return to Orlando April 8-10, 2011 expecting a record number of entries across all categories, to top last year's record entries: 417 commercial, 170 professional, 321 amateur and seven junior - totaling an astounding 907 pies!

New this year are three categories created to reflect the signs of the times. "Gluten-free" requiring a pie that is gluten-free in all aspects including crust, filling and toppings. "Innovation" sponsored by Crisco in honor of the brand's 100th Anniversary this year. The "Innovation" category requires a blend of classic and contemporary innovative pie making technique and pie flavor selections. Finally a "Royal Wedding" pie suitable for a soon-to-be-married Prince William and Kate Middleton is the third new category. The pie's the limit with all three of the new categories as well as familiar favorites.

It will take a record number of judges - 200 prequalified volunteer pie aficionados - to eat through almost 1,000 pieces to find the crème de la crème of North American pie bakers. It comes as no surprise that the largest number of entries for a single flavor goes to America's collective favorite - apple pie - with 39 entries in the amateur category.

Entry forms are available online for junior, amateur, professional and commercial divisions. Entry costs are free for juniors and $15 for amateurs. APC members receive discounts on entries.

Host hotel Caribe Royale Hotel is offering a special $129 per night room rate for those attending or participating in the Great American Pie Festival or National Pie Championships. To book this special rate, you must tell the hotel you are with the event. Call 800-823-8300 to book a room.

The festival will be held at Lakeside Park at 631 Sycamore St. in downtown Celebration, Florida 34747. Hours are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday, April 9; noon to 5 p.m., Sunday, April 10. Admission to the festival is free. Costs for the Never Ending Pie Buffet are: $10 adults, $5 ages 65 and up; $5 ages 6-12.