Whoopie Pie Festival organizers hope for in-person event Oct. 2
DOVER-FOXCROFT — Organizers of the Maine Whoopie Pie Festival announced Monday, Feb. 20 that they are moving forward with plans to have the festival in person, on Saturday, Oct. 2. The festival, the largest one-day event in the Maine Highlands, brings thousands of people to Dover-Foxcroft to celebrate the taste of Maine’s Official State Treat, the whoopie pie. The festival was held virtually in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but Patrick Myers, one of the festival organizers, thinks they will be able to have the festival in person in October.
“For the first time, we will be holding the festival at the Piscataquis Valley Fairgrounds, instead of in downtown Dover-Foxcroft,” Myers said, “The fairgrounds should allow us to spread out and give us the flexibility we need to follow whatever guidelines are in place at that time.”
In years past, the festival has included live music, artists, crafters, vendors, rides and activities for children, and tens of thousands of whoopie pies. Myers said that they’re going to be looking at all aspects of the festival as the year progresses, and depending on conditions, may even be able to add some new attractions. The festival is an event of the Center Theatre for the Performing Arts, where Myers is the executive director. The loss of the festival in 2020 was a serious financial blow, especially coming on top of a four-month closure and other restrictions made necessary because of the COVID pandemic. The festival is also a major economic boost to the entire regional economy, according to Denise Buzzelli, executive director of the Piscataquis Chamber of Commerce and a festival organizer.
“The festival benefits many local businesses and organizations in our community,” stated Buzzelli, “It has become a summer tradition, but having it in the fall seems to give us the best chance to have an in-person festival.” The festival will once again be celebrating October as “Whooptoberfest,” a name coined by Buzzelli to denote the month-long virtual celebration that occurred in 2020.
The Maine Whoopie Pie Festival is the largest annual fundraiser for both the Piscataquis Chamber of Commerce and the Center Theatre for the Performing Arts. The mission of the Center Theatre is to make arts, education, and entertainment accessible to their rural communities to engage and inspire. The Piscataquis Chamber of Commerce works to strengthen and advance the economic vitality of Piscataquis Valley through promotion, advocacy, collaboration and support for its businesses, communities and future leaders. For more information on the Maine Whoopie Pie Festival, visit www.MaineWhoopiePieFestival.com, or contact the Center Theatre at 564-8943 or WhoopiePie@centertheatre.org.