More than a dozen pies filled the tables at Claremont’s annual Pie Festival March 17. Pie options ranged from lemon meringue to French mocha and from classic apple to Middle-Eastern knafeh. Glistening with shiny fruit filling and bursting with creamy custard, the pies were both aesthetically pleasing and appetizing.
The event, which took place over Pi Day weekend, was co-sponsored by the Claremont Village Marketing Group, I Like Pie Bake Shop, and The Back Abbey. It featured contests, games, and baking demonstrations.
For just $3, I was able to sample three pies from I Like Pie.
The coconut cream pie ran out before I got there, so I tried the berry pie instead. It had a flaky crust and tart filling. I also tried the chocolate chip custard pie, which had a silky texture and wasn’t overly sweet.
Pies and baking were definitely at the forefront of the demos held throughout the day, but the event itself was akin to a fair. Claremont’s 2nd Street was packed with booths that featured vendors like Borusky Woodworks, The Plate Ladies, and Soy Candles.
Local families came out for food, shopping, and games. There were also several booths catered toward children, while vendors offered face painting and fake tattoos. One booth even hosted a bean bag toss game.
On Harvard Avenue, a vintage car festival hosted in conjunction with the Pie Festival was on display. While I couldn’t tell you the models or years the cars were from (unfortunately, I’m not a car aficionado), I was mesmerized by their range of colors. One was a bright royal blue, another a tin metal grey, and yet another a pastel lime green.
Christine Moore, cookbook author and founder of Pasadena’s Little Flower Cafe, was also in town for a book signing to promote her new book, “Little Flower Baking.”
The day concluded with free pie tasting, made possible by the pie contest held earlier in the day.
Abby Lewis PO ’19 went to the festival specifically for the pie tasting.
“[I] only came for the pie tasting last year, and it was wonderful,” Lewis said. “And I knew I had to come back. [I’ve] been talking about it for months.”
Her favorite of the ones she sampled was the mango pie. Wentao Guo PO ’19, who also attended the event, agreed with Lewis.
“I can confirm that [the mango pie] is fantastic. It tastes a little bit like solidified mango lassi,” Guo said.
If only for the free pie, the Claremont Pie Festival is certainly worth checking out in the years to come.
Mabel Lui SC ’21 is a media studies and art major from Hong Kong. She previously served as TSL’s managing editor, life and style editor, life and style associate and life and style writer.