The Maine Whoopie Pie Festival — which attracts thousands of visitors to Piscataquis County every year — was yet another victim of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, but the state’s official treat hasn’t been forgotten by the event’s organizers.
Originally scheduled for June 27 and then postponed until Oct. 3, the annual event based in Dover-Foxcroft is being replaced by a month-long virtual celebration dubbed “WHOOPtoberfest” just getting underway.
“Our fallback date was Oct. 3rd, but obviously it became clear that we couldn’t bring 7,000 people from all around New England to Dover-Foxcroft this year,” organizer Patrick Myers said. The festival has grown since its origin in 2009 to become the largest single-day event in Piscataquis County each year.
WHOOPtoberfest will include a variety of activities designed to highlight the whoopie pie, as well as its bakers, vendors and consumers. One highlight is a page on the event’s website — www.mainewhoopiepiefestival.com — that identifies whoopie pie bakers and vendors around Maine.
“The central piece is an interactive map where you can enter in your address or other key words or categories and it will show you the nearest bakers to wherever you are at the moment,” Myers said.
“So if you find yourself in desperate need of a whoopie pie while you’re on the road, you can look it up on your phone and it will know your location and tell you where to go.”
“WHOOPtoberfest,” a monthlong, virtual celebration of Maine’s official state treat, is replacing the annual Maine Whoopie Pie Festival that has been held for the last 10 years in Dover-Foxcroft. Credit: Contributed photos
Approximately 50 bakers and vendors already are listed on the map, and contact information is being gathered to include other whoopie pie sources.
“If you’ve got a favorite mom-and-pop whoopie pie maker that nobody else knows about, you can put their contact information in and nominate them to be part of the map,” said Myers, also executive director of the Center Theatre for the Performing Arts.
Also scheduled are four weekly contests beginning Oct. 5 where members of the WHOOPtoberfest portal will be able to vote for their favorite bakers, upload images of favorite whoopie pie moments, share stories featuring the Maine delicacy and win whoopie pie merchandise.
The Maine Whoopie Pie Festival is the largest annual fundraising event for the nonprofit Center Theatre and is a collaborative effort between the theater and the Piscataquis Chamber of Commerce.
“The Whoopie Pie Festival is a huge boost to our local economy,” chamber executive director Denise Buzzelli said. “Losing the in-person festival will affect many of our local businesses and organizations, but we hope that WHOOPtoberfest will keep the spirit of the festival alive until we can come together again in 2021.”
Information on the Maine Whoopie Pie Festival and WHOOPtoberfest also is available by calling the Center Theatre at 564-8943 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.