UPside of Life: A very tasty festival

There are few things more American than baseball and mom's apple pie. On the same token, there are few things more Yooper than pasties.

So the idea of taking pies and taking pasties and putting them together in the same festival is not only a great one, it's an All-American one, too.

The first-ever Pasties & Pies Preservation Fest is coming to Iron Mountain April 9 as part of the annual Home Yard & Sports Show. The new fest, sponsored by the Iron Mountain DDA and Main Street organizations, was developed as a way to celebrate the heritage of regional food.

There are few things more worthy of celebration, either. Pies go hand-in-hand with the idea of a great dessert. From blueberry to lemon meringue to mince meat and more, there is a pie in this world that fits everyone's tastes.

And the pasty? Well, it's pretty much part of the definition when it comes to the Upper Peninsula. Pasties are found everywhere up here, from St. Ignace to Sault Ste. Marie to Marquette, Iron Mountain, Menominee, Iron River and beyond. You'd be hard pressed to find a town that didn't have pasties for sale in some way, shape or form in the U.P.--and it's a better place because of it. Frankly, it's a part of the charm, as outlined in this U.P. Second Wave feature by Kim Hoyum.

The festival will celebrate both the pasty and the pie, which means that there is going to be something for everyone when it comes to satisfying an appetite. Bakers, both individuals and commercial, are being encouraged to sell their product at the event, too, making it one heck of a place to grab some eats and have some fun.

All of the entries, which will be divided into commercial and homemade categories, will be competing for ribbons and cash prizes and judging will occur April 9 at 10 a.m. In addition, commercially-produced pies and pasties are going to compete for the People's Choice Award, giving the winning company bragging rights for "The Best of the Fest." Visitors to the festival will be able to cast ballots for their favorite commercial pasty and pie, so make sure to come hungry if you're going to head to the event.

For more information about the event, drop an email to the Iron Mountain DDA and Main Street offices.

Sam Eggleston is the managing editor of the U.P. Second Wave and a full-time freelance writer. He was born and raised in the Upper Peninsula. He likes pasties and pies. The former with gravy, the latter, preferably, in the form of blueberry. Eggleston can be reached via email.
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