DOVER-FOXCROFT, Maine — Organizers of the Maine Whoopie Pie Festival announced Monday that they are moving forward with plans to have the festival in person on Saturday, Oct. 2. They're hoping a change of venue allows them to spread out and hold the event safely, after it was held virtually in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"For the first time, we will be holding the festival at the Piscataquis Valley Fairgrounds, instead of in downtown Dover-Foxcroft," one of the festival's organizers, Patrick 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."
The festival brings thousands of people to Dover-Foxcroft to celebrate the taste of Maine's Official State Treat, the whoopie pie. In years past, it has included live music, artists, crafters, vendors, rides and activities for children, and 10s 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 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 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 pandemic.
The festival is also a major economic boost to the entire regional economy, according to Denise Buzzelli, director of the Piscataquis Chamber of Commerce and a festival organizer.
"The festival benefits many local businesses and organizations in our community," Buzzelli said. "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.