DOVER-FOXCROFT, Maine — Thousands of people filed through downtown Dover-Foxcroft on Saturday in order to get their hands on some whoopie pies.
The two cake rounds sandwiched with cream was the center of attention for the fourth annual Maine Whoopie Pie Festival. Eighteen vendors had many varieties of whoopie pies for tasting and selling.
“I don’t believe you can have a perfect day, but this is about as close as you can get,” said festival organizer Patrick Myers of Dover-Foxcroft. “It’s been great crowds — very enthusiastic.”
Myers said his rough estimate for attendance was more than 4,000 people. Outside the gate, between 30 and 40 vendors selling different items lined Main Street. Items sold included candles, jewelry, dresses and fudge.
Inside the festival, the more odd the flavor of whoopie pie, the faster it sold.
“We came out with a Maine blueberry cream cheese [whoopie pie] this year, and we were out of those by 12:30 [p.m.],” said Barry Partridge, owner of Al’s Pizza of Skowhegan, who won two awards at the festival in previous years. “They’ve been selling real good at the shop and they really flew out of here. We went through a couple hundred of them in two hours.”
Homebaker Vicky Bissett of Waldoboro brought many different flavors that aren’t often seen. She said she brought more than 200 to the festival, and had only three left at 2:30 p.m. The festival began at 10 a.m.
“Last year, I came in third with that flavor,” said Bissett, referring to her zucchini cranberry whoopie pie. “I made a strawberry rhubarb, and everybody loved that.”
Other vendors said their unusual whoopie pies sold the quickest. Toward the end of the festival, most had only the traditional chocolate whoopie pie with vanilla filling or peanut butter whoopie pies.
“We have here five different varieties of whoopie pies,” said Bernard LaBree, president of LaBree’s Bakery of Old Town. “We have the banana, red velvet, peanut butter, traditional and the carrot. The red velvet and the carrot have been the most popular because it’s a little different.”
LaBree’s red velvet earned a tie as the best nontraditional whoopie pie. Cupcakes ETC of Guilford shared the prize with LaBree’s Bakery with its Paul Bunyan whoopie pie. Myers described it as a buttermilk, pancake-like cake with maple filling with candied bacon bits in the filling.
Governor’s of Old Town took home the prize for best traditional whoopie pie, while Eastbrook Variety of Eastbrook won the people’s choice for its traditional whoopie pie.
Governor’s also had flavors such as strawberry lemonade, orange cream slice and lemon blueberry. Like many of the odd flavors, they were all gone well before the end of the festival.
Aside from eating tasty confections, other activities included balloon animals, face painting, a bounce house for kids, pony rides and a climbing wall.
“All the things the kids absolutely love,” said Myers. “It’s just a lot of stuff to keep people busy.”
Myers said the festival is also a big boost to the economy for the area.
“This is a great economic activity for the town of Dover-Foxcroft,” said Myers. “It’s not just about getting them here to try a whoopie pie, it’s about getting them here and giving them a good time, and hopefully, getting them to stay around so they can experience what Dover is all about and come back again some time.”
The festival is a good way to get people to come to the area, he said, because the whoopie pie is the quintessential Maine treat.
“It’s as Maine as lobster and Moxie,” said Myers.