Have a slice day at the Arkansas Pie Festival
How sweet it is! On April 29, Cherokee Village hosts the third Arkansas Pie Festival, featuring pie eating, pie samples, and the competition to determine who will represent Arkansas with pie at the World Food Championships this year.
The event was first introduced in 2019 to showcase the delicious dessert and to raise funds for the Spring River Innovation Hub, a small business incubator located at Town Center, where the festival is held. After a pandemic-related hiatus, the 2022 event was attended by about 1,000 hungry guests who came to sample pies, listen to music, participate in a 5K run and dig into a decadent and funny pie-eating contest.
The big show centers around pies for competition. Entrants in three categories — professional, amateur and youth — bring two pies each. One pie goes to the celebrated pie auction, where attendees can bid on and win their favorites to take home. The other is judged by a select panel of experts and food lovers, who view and taste each pie and vote on the top three places in each category. Winners take home a plate to display and bragging rights.
Ticket holders can pick up a tray and fill it with samples of several pies to try, ranging from fruit and cream pies to others made with nuts or peanut butter to bites of fried pies. Once those calories are consumed, eaters are encouraged to vote on the people’s choice, another award announced at the end of the day.
This year’s event adds the Cutie Pie Pet Parade, where puppers and their people can show off their good behavior and excitement.