Scooter MacMillan, Editor
On Saturday, a day after St. Patrick’s Day, people gathered in the Shelburne Town Hall for an Irish-themed, all-you-can eat pie event sponsored by the Charlotte-Shelburne-Hinesburg Rotary Club.
A few days after Pi Day, more than 250 people came to measure by the bite the pleasures of circular pastry.
There were more than 120 pies, said Dan York, whose wife Lori York is director of the Charlotte Senior Center.
As pie patrons entered the town hall, they were greeted by Mary Stevenson, dressed in traditional Irish garb who offered them a piece of soda bread drizzled with organic honey.
Stevenson said it is a custom in Ireland to give visitors a gift and soda bread is a traditional Irish food.
“Hospitality is very important to the Irish,” she said.
From quiche to desert, sweet, savory, cheesy, fruity, gluten-free, it would be hard to imagine a type of pie that wasn’t represented.
A couple of people dishing out pie said raspberry peach was the most popular and that eight was the most pieces of pie they heard of anyone eating.
While the pies were consumed, the consumers were entertained by traditional music from Shady Rill and dancing by the McFadden Academy of Irish Dance.
The first pie event was held in 2019 in Shelburne Vineyard and it was a big success, maybe too big. Organizers realized they needed a bigger venue. And more pies. The organizers were surprised by how successful that initial event was. They ran out of pies.
So, after a pandemic-induced hiatus, the second Rotary Club pie event was held this year at a larger venue with more pies.
And they didn’t run out. As noon approached the volunteers were selling pies at half price.
York said the goal was to break even, and it certainly appeared they would do that. People had so much fun that he thinks to Rotary may do it again.
Long tables were filled with old friends and new friends conversing in the warm and friendly way that only an unlimited supply of coffee and good pie can bring on. In spite of all the Irish trappings, the gathering was as American as … some sort of pie.