“Look Ma, no hands” could very well be the cry heard from downtown Mount Airy on the Fourth of July as folks of all ages chow down face first into a big pile of pies, all in an effort to raise money for charity while going for the win on prizes and glory.
Mount Airy’s Sixth-Annual Pie Eating Contest for Charity will get started around noon, on that Wednesday. The city’s Independence Day parade will begin at 11 a.m. at Veterans Park, and the pie-eating contest will immediately follow. As in the past several years, the contest will be in the Bark & Meow parking lot on North Main Street, and is sponsored by Miss Angels Heavenly Pies, with all proceeds to benefit The Shepherd’s House.
The event has grown in size, participation and funds raised each year since it began, noted Angela Shur (AKA Miss Angel), who sponsors and organizes the event, as well as donates all of the pies.
“This pie-eating contest is unique in that we use real pies,” she said. “Most of the time they’re not real, just a pile of whipped cream.”
But contestants on the Fourth of July will chow into a real Miss Angel’s pie of their choice, baked the day before. Contestants can request their favorite pie when they call up to register for the event.
“We’re getting a lot of orders for peach. The peaches are coming in at the farm now (Miss Angel’s Farm west of Mount Airy supplies fruit for her bakery) and it’s all worth it. It really made me smile today.”
Shur has set a goal to raise $18,000 to $20,000 for The Shepherd’s House, up from $15,000 raised in 2017 and $10,000 in 2016.
“Each time we set our goal higher, as Miss A does, it helps us get better at what we do,” said Mary Boyles, executive director of The Shepherd’s House. “We appreciate the community support.”
The Shepherd’s House provided more than 7,000 nights of shelter and 18,000 meals in 2017, according to Boyles.
Potential pie-eaters are divided up into five age groups for competition.
Children 1 to 3 years of age required only to eat a mini-turnover. “They’re teeny little bite-size things,” said Shur. Children ages 4 to 6 years old eat a turnover and children 7 to 12 eat a five-inch mini pie. The entrance fee in each of these groups is $5 and contestants compete for a $10 gift card for first place and a $5 gift card for second place in each age group.
Teen-agers 13 to 17-years old eat a single-crust half-filled pie, competing for a $50 first place gift card and a $25 second place gift card. The entrance fee for this group is $10.
Adults 18 and older go all in, hard-core serious pie eating means a nine-inch double crust pie, and they will compete for a first place $100 gift card and a second place $50 gift card. The adult entrance fee is $15.
Shur said she is especially pleased with the special gift bags she has put together for each child who participates. “There are toys in there, trucks with gumballs inside, candy and a certificate good for an ice cream cone at Miss Angel’s Hillbilly Creamery (next to Miss Angel’s Pies).
“All the kids run straight up to get their ice cream as soon as they finish,” said Shur. “I’ve bought 100 pounds of novelty candy for the gift bags. They’re going to love it. The candy in the bag will be worth more than the entrance fee,” she said.
Alongside the Fourth of July pie eating, The Shepherd’s House will be conducting its longstanding annual raffle.
“There are two raffles,” said Boyles. “One is a ‘Show Me the Money’ raffle for a $1,000 shopping spree, and the other is for a $1,000 gun package. Tickets are $20 each in both raffles, and only 300 tickets are sold for each of the two raffles.”
“Blanton Youell (B-Dazzle Productions) is doing music for us,” said Shur. “He’s donating his time, and Pepsi has donated all of our beverages, and I really want to thank Mayberry Bark & Meow for hosting us again.”
For more information and to register, call Miss Angel’s Heavenly Pies at 516-317-6338 or The Shepherd’s House at 336-786-1420 for raffle tickets.
Reach Bill Colvard at 336-415-4699.