If you bake often enough, you're bound to improve over time. That's also the case with event planning. This year's Maine Whoopie Pie Festival in Dover-Foxcroft on Saturday, June 23 was the result of a decade of "recipe adjustments" that made the day that much sweeter for everyone. A new website and ambitious marketing campaign, incentives for vendors, better detour signage, and a new festival footprint meant more vendors, more customers, and more fun!
This year, whoopie pie bakers were located downtown, intermingled with restaurants offering on-street dining, the Kiwanis Club of Dover-Foxcroft's annual BBQ at the fire station, and a wide variety of food trucks. There were so many whoopie pie bakers to choose from that it was difficult to decide where to spend my four wooden nickles. By the time I had nibbled on the four whoopie pie samples that are included with the price of admission (a whopping $5), all I could manage was a burger and bottled water. The food court in the middle of the main thoroughfare is a fun change of pace, so I didn't want to miss out on eating there.
The music stage was relocated this year, as well, and I could hear the band throughout most of the festival footprint, which was not the case last year. Vendors of crafts and other local products displayed their wares in colorful booths winding from downtown almost up to the Rite Aid on East Main Street. There were free samples, and raffles, and always, friendly and helpful folks willing to chat about their various products.
Not having any little people in tow, I didn't spend any time in the children's area, but with all those inflatables and a little train and a pony offering rides, it looked like a lot of fun. Children of all ages also seemed to be enjoying the multiple mascots wandering the festival this year: Sweetie Pie is the festival's mascot; Monty the Moose was greeting the crowd on behalf of the Maine Highlands Federal Credit Union; and a dancing coffee bean who I've not been formerly introduced to was representing Center Coffee.
I didn't make it to the Piscataquis YMCA's morning Earn Your Whoopie fun run and walk, either, or to a new event added on Sunday, which offered participants the opportunity to sip beverages of their choice while creating really neat paintings of colorful whoopie pie trees. I'm not a runner or a painter, but I excel at eating whoopie pies. Go with your strengths, I say!