Messy but so much fun

Cloverdale's annual pie eating contest is 'a technicolour display of blueberries'. And watch out for the splash zone.

Watch out for the Splash Zone at the blueberry pie eating contest.

If parents ever need blackmail photos of their children, they should bring them to this year’s blueberry pie-eating contest at the eighth annual Cloverdale Blueberry Festival on Aug. 6.

“These are the photos you want for when your kid gets married,” quips Carolyn Orazietti, who helps with the contest each year.

“It’s just so much fun. It’s crazy. People line up for it. And there’s nothing like a picture of your kid with blueberries smeared all over and glued in his hair.”

Participants are given garbage bags to wear before they attempt to inhale pies freshly baked with locally grown blueberries – but it still gets extremely messy, she promises.

“There is a splash zone – if you have to ask, you’ve never been at a pie-eating  contest before,” she says. “Try to stay back at least 10 feet.”

Usually, upwards of 40 participants, mainly children but with the occasional adult – including a professional regurgitator – enter to try to inhale a blueberry pie the fastest.

“The children are all over it. Their eyes just light up,” Orazietti says.

“And parents are knee deep for the photo opps. It’s a technicolour display of blueberries.”

Located in the Family Zone at Clover Square Village, the pie-eating contest this year is scheduled to start at approximately 10 a.m.

Usually, the contests are split into different age groups and prizes are awarded to the winners, Orazietti notes.

– By Tricia Leslie, special to The Cloverdale Reporter