Every year, Crisco hosts the Great American Pie Festival in Celebration, Florida. Pie baking contests that go on in conjunction with the festival have been shown on the Food Network. The main draw of the pie festival is the all-you-can-eat pie buffet. This weekend was the 8th annual Great American Pie Festival, and I took my son on Sunday. I really wanted to like the pie festival. All you can eat pie? Sold. But we were disappointed.
There was a pie eating contest going on later in the day that we didn’t stick around for. There is no way I could have participated. I think Alexander and I shared four pieces of pie. Alexander picked out the chocolate peanut butter pie, which he didn’t really like. He said it was too peanut buttery.
We also tried a “sugar pie” that they said was like creme brulee, but tasted like… nothing. It was gross. There was a lemon curd pie that tasted good, but not great. The best was a white chocolate raspberry cream pie. I wish everything tasted that good. There was a lot of variety in the pie buffet, but nothing that just said “you have to try me.” Everything seemed pretty standard. Apple, cherry, lemon meringue… You’ve seen it all before. And of all those, you’d hope it was the best pie you’ve every tasted, and I don’t think an all you can eat pie buffet is really going to showcase the best pie ever.
There were 12 booths within the buffet area, including a tent where they just handed out Publix bottled water. That was my favorite booth. It was in the upper 80s. There were a couple of demonstration booths, mostly from sponsors, and then a main stage. When I was there, they were telling people how to make a great pie crust… using the sponsor Crisco, of course.
The kids area activities were an extra cost, but benefiting Second Harvest Food Bank. They let kids roll out dough for pie crusts. There was a “Piecasso” station for them to make art in pie shells. Stuff like that. Best was the photo op with the Pillsbury Doughboy. Even though Alexander wouldn’t poke him in the tummy.
I think some of our disappointment was just a lack of excitement in the festival – it was lacking energy. There was some live music but they weren’t playing when we got there. I think if you could vote for best pie, maybe with tokens in a box or something, that would have added a level of excitement. As it was, it was just kind of impersonal. Part of it could have been the heat, too. It was in the upper 80s. On Saturday, there was also an exotic car show going on. I think that may have helped with the energy, and given another option – and a break from pie.
Did you know that Joey Fatone from N’Sync owns the original KITT from Knight Rider? He left his car there even though there were no other cars from the show.
Alexander liked this speeder from Star Wars. I wonder… does Joey own this, too? There wasn’t a sign for it.