ROCKLAND, Maine — Blueberry and apple pies are great, but how about bacon or lobster baked between two light, crispy pie crusts? Rockland is expanding its sixth annual pie festival to include savory pies such as Sweets and Meats Market’s apple walnut currant and blue cheese pie and Park Street Grille’s avocado, chili and roasted tortilla pie. Some pies are blending the sweet and savory this year, such as Bricks Restaurant’s chorizo, mozzarella and white chocolate chip macaroon pie.
The festival will run from 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 24, when hundreds of people will ride trolleys and mosey about from restaurants to historic inns filling their bellies at the Pies on Parade Inn to Inn Pie Tour, held by the Historic Inns of Rockland.
This year’s edition also will feature a healthful pies category. The Rheal Day Spa will serve a gluten-free not-too-sweet potato pie and a lavender, honey and yogurt pie that rejects the thought of using refined sugar.
The pie festival is one of the city’s biggest winter events. It also is a fundraiser for the Area Interfaith Outreach Food Pantry.
The fundraiser annually generates enough money to support 100 needy area families, according to Marti Mayne, public relations manager for the Historic Inns of Rockland. In the last five years the festival donated $20,000. The goal this year is to raise $5,000 more.
The festival got a big boost in 2007 from the Food Network, which visited Rockland to tape an episode of “Throwdown! with Bobby Flay.” That created a label for Rockland as “Pie Town, USA.”
“Once the Food Network decided that Rockland was Pie Town, we expanded the event,” Mayne said.
The first year there was a huge snowstorm and 50 people attended. This year 300 tickets have been sold already, which will leave 100 or fewer for at-the-door purchase.
Tickets are $25 for adults, $10 for children 10 and under. For information or tickets call 877-762-4667.