DOVER-FOXCROFT — Two perfect mounds of cake stuck together with gooey frosting will take Center Theatre stage during the annual Maine Whoopie Pie Festival from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, June 25, in Dover-Foxcroft.
The event celebrates Maine’s whoopie pie heritage, even though Pennsylvania residents claim the sweet delicacy first was conceived in that state.
The Maine Legislature debated earlier this year to make the whoopie pie the official state dessert, but later settled to make it the state’s official treat and feature the blueberry pie as the state dessert.
“We know it’s a Maine thing,” Janet Sawyer, chairman of the festival, said recently, and Mainers have supported the festival.
More than 3,000 people attended last year’s event where they got to taste an array of sweets.
Visitors get to sample whoopie pies filled with an assortment of flavors from strawberry to peanut butter from bakers throughout Maine for a 25-cent per sample fee. Admission to the event, sponsored by Center Theatre, is $5 and free to children younger than 10.
“Last year, 27 bakers were encouraged to bring other flavors in addition to the traditional chocolate cake and white filling,” Sawyer said. And bring they did. There were gluten-free cakes, and whoopie pies made with such ingredients as chocolate chips, pumpkin, molasses, apples, caramel, lemons and carrots.
Sawyer said one of the categories to be judged is the most unique, which should bring in even more flavors.
The festival has grown beyond the confines of the Center Theatre parking lot and will include the downtown area this year. Center Theatre also has enlisted the help of the Piscataquis Regional YMCA and the Piscataquis Chamber of Commerce.
Dwain Allen, Center Theatre’s executive director, said the music stage will be bigger this year and will feature well-known bands, again hosted by Birdie Goggins, the “Marden’s Lady.” Bands will include the local Doughty Hill Band, the eclectic folk-rock Zulu Leprechauns, and Rustic Overtones, whose new album is listed by the Portland Phoenix as one of the top 10 albums of the decade. An evening concert, which has an admission of $15, will feature the Mallett Brothers.
While the adults fill their bellies with the sweets, the YMCA will offer games, a bounce house and other activities for the children.
A craft show will also be held during the event.