Taylor Vitany, host of “Living in Shelby Township,” announces the winners of the Better Pie baking contest with Shelby Township Treasurer James Carabelli at last year’s Shelby Township Art Fair.

Taylor Vitany, host of “Living in Shelby Township,” announces the winners of the Better Pie baking contest with Shelby Township Treasurer James Carabelli at last year’s Shelby Township Art Fair.

Photo provided by Brad D. Bates

Shelby Township to have annual art fair and pie baking contest

By: Kara Szymanski | Shelby-Utica News | Published August 8, 2022


SHELBY TOWNSHIP — The Shelby Township Art Fair is celebrating its 39th anniversary this year and is inviting bakers to take part in its fourth Better Pie baking contest Aug. 13.

The art fair allows patrons to see nationally renowned artists and many local artists exhibiting their works. Event hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 13, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 14, at River Bends Park at 5700 22 Mile Road in Shelby Township.

The Shelby Township Better Pie baking contest seeks entries for a special exhibit at the fair. Judges will score the pies on presentation, creativity and taste. The winning pie baker will be featured on a future episode of “Living in Shelby Township” on Shelby TV, will receive one free park pavilion rental from Shelby Township Parks and Recreation, and will be included in the holiday edition of the township newsletter, “Fountain.”

Rick Stathakis, the supervisor of Shelby Township, said every year, the fair has something new to check out.

“The Shelby Township Art Fair is the highlight of summer in Shelby Township, and there’s always something new to see with the vendors and attractions like the Better Pie Contest. Last year, the art fair moved to River Bends Park, and it was bigger than ever, and I’m sure it will be outstanding this year, too,” he said.

Community Relations Director Brad Bates said the pie baking contest is always an interesting thing to see each year.

“One of our community’s biggest events is the art fair, and it’s fun to add another wrinkle to that tradition with the Better Pie baking contest. We’ve seen various types of pies win since we started the contest in 2018, and it’s always exciting to see what kinds of masterpieces our entrants bring each year,” he said in a press release.

The contest is open to amateur and professional bakers from any community. There is one entry per baker. Businesses can sponsor a baker, but the individual baker must make the entry. For this contest, a pie has “a bottom crust, possible top crust and a filling.”

Entries must be sweet pies, and premade crusts are OK, but fillings must be homemade. Because of the expected hot temperatures, frozen and cream pies are not eligible for the contest.

The top three pies will receive ribbons, and a youth prize will go to the best baker younger than 16.

Entries must include a complete ingredient list and the recipe. Submissions are due by 1 p.m. Aug. 13 at the pie contest booth at the art fair. Bakers must be present for the judging at 1 p.m. Judges will announce the winner at 3 p.m.

The judges will represent the Shelby Township Police, Fire and Parks, Recreation, and Maintenance departments and also include Taylor Vitany, the host of “Living in Shelby Township.”

“I’ve experienced many things that make Shelby Township a better place, but judging the pie contest takes the cake. Seriously, this contest is a great addition to our art fair, and it’s an honor to join the team with our Parks and Recreation staff to be part of such a great tradition,” Vitany said in a press release.

For more information or an entry form, visit shelbytwp.org/artfair.

Parking and entry at the fair are free with a shuttle between River Bends Park and Woodall Park at 4101 River Bends Drive off Ryan Road. There will be paintings, pottery, jewelry, wood, glass and more at the fair. There will be live music, crafts and activities in the Kids Corner, critters from the Burgess-Shadbush Nature Center, and a chance to visit with Shelby Township police officers and firefighters.

The event is presented by the Shelby Township Art Fair Committee and hosted by the Shelby Township Parks, Recreation and Maintenance Department.

For more information, visit shelbyartfair.org. You can also find the Shelby Township Art Fair at facebook.com/shelbytwpartfair or call the Shelby Township Parks, Recreation and Maintenance Department on weekdays at (586) 731-0300.