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Claremont’s festival is as sweet as a slice of pie

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Erica Rae Sanchez
Arts Editor

Thousands of people walked up and down the streets with pies in their hand for the annual Pie Festival held in Claremont.

The festival occurs every year at the Claremont Village, the date varies; but this year it was on March 23.

This festival was not just about pies; there were other baked goods, handcrafted jewelry, art and decor sold. 

The Pie Festival was founded seven years ago when the owner of Claremont’s I Like Pie Bakeshop, Annika Corbin, suggested that a number of merchants get together to host a pie festival, said Claremont resident, Sonja Stump. 

“For the last five years we have had to shut down different blocks because it has grown so much,” Stump said.

The festival had an agenda including what people can watch and participate in, with a bakers and makers stage where one can learn how to bake pie, a homemade pie judging contest and one of the most popular activities being the pie eating contest, Stump said.

“I really enjoy seeing people enjoy themselves and I love watching the pie eating contest,” Stump said. “It’s a hoot!”

Many of the pie vendors sold out of their pies due to the high demand, Sweetcie Pie Bakery was one of them.

“It has been an education[al experience], pie sells out really fast here,” said Karen Uyeda, owner of Sweetcie Pie.

Sweetcie Pie is a bakery located in Irvine that has won two blue ribbons for their pies, the first being a cherry amaretto pie and her second is a strawberry pie. These pies won at the KCRW Pie Contest and at the Orange County Fair, Uyeda said.

Uyeda started her business when the Cottage Food law passed in 2015, which allows low-risk food goods to be made and packaged in one’s private home, according to Environmental Health City of Riverside. 

She decided to take advantage of it and came to the conclusion that she would bake pies because people would buy them, she said. 

“It’s nice to have a place where pie is so appreciated,” Uyeda said.

Nicolette Inglese, owner of the Sweet Takes Bakeshop in Rancho Cucamonga, was at the Pie Festival for her first time to market her business.

The Pie Festival is a lot more busy with people who want to buy baked goods, rather than the Farmer’s Market that happens in Claremont every month, Inglese said.

“Here everyone is excited about sweets than at the farmer’s market; it’s more about fruits and veggies and you can’t really sell sweets because everyone is looking for healthy stuff, but you come to pie and you know it’s going to be sweets and everyone is really excited about it,” Inglese said.

The estimated amount of people that showed up ranged from 10,000-12,000 people. All of the people were eating food, listening to music and walking up to the different vendors to see what was being sold.

“The Pie Festival was a lot more than I expected, I thought it was going to be this rinky dinky little festival, but to my surprise it was a lot bigger and better,” said Whittier resident Cecilia Sanchez.

“Pie seems to be such an integral part of our American way of life,” Stump said. “Who doesn’t like pie?” 

Erica Rae Sanchez can be reached at erica.sanchez2@laverne.edu.

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