Arkansas Pie Festival teams with World Food Championship for annual event

by George Jared ([email protected]) 1,069 views 

The third annual Arkansas Pie Festival is set to return to Cherokee Village on Saturday (April 29), as a partner of the World Food Championship, the biggest food sport event in the world, festival organizer Graycen Bigger told Talk Business & Politics.

As an official qualifying event for WFC, the Arkansas Pie Festival will award one Golden Ticket to its champion making them eligible to compete in the dessert category at the international cooking tournament this fall.

Last year, the festival attendance was hampered by damaging storms that rolled through Northeast Arkansas the day before the festival. The storms caused significant damage to several communities in the affected region including Cherokee Village and Walnut Ridge.

Bigger said organizers are hopeful the weather will be more cooperative this year. Despite the weather, hundreds attended the festival last year as amateur and professional pie makers competed for prizes.

The World Food Championships (WFC) welcomes more than 350 teams from across the globe to find the best culinary talent each year. They compete in 12 categories, from barbecue to dessert, as they try to navigate their way to the tournament’s final table and a grand prize of $100,000.

“It’s no secret…people love pie,” said festival co-founder and Cherokee Village Community Developer Jonathan Rhodes. “We are excited to partner with the World Food Championship to promote Arkansas, bring people together in Cherokee Village and ultimately grow the Arkansas Pie Festival. You don’t want to miss your chance to win a ‘Golden Ticket’ to compete in the Dessert Competition at the World Food Championship in Dallas this fall.”

The Arkansas Pie Festival will host a competition between commercial pie makers, home chefs, and students. Judges and attendees will be able to sample pies of all varieties before crowning a people’s choice and champion baker. Pies will also be displayed and auctioned for charity.

It’s the only pie festival in Arkansas, according to organizers.