Shelby Township will host its third Shelby Township Better Pie Baking Contest Aug. 14 to kick off its 38th annual Shelby Township Art Fair. Here the judges get to work at a previous contest.

Shelby Township will host its third Shelby Township Better Pie Baking Contest Aug. 14 to kick off its 38th annual Shelby Township Art Fair. Here the judges get to work at a previous contest.

Photo provided by Shelby Township


Shelby Township to host third ‘Better Pie’ baking contest

By: Kara Szymanski | Shelby - Utica News | Published August 9, 2021

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SHELBY TOWNSHIP — The Better Pie Baking Contest Aug. 14 will be one of the highlights of its 38th annual Shelby Township Art Fair.

During the Better Pie Baking Contest, judges will score the pies on presentation, creativity and taste. The winning pie will be featured on a future episode of “Living in Shelby Township” on Shelby TV; will have a holiday cover feature in the fall 2021 issue of the township newsletter, “Fountain”; and it will net one free park pavilion rental from Shelby Township Parks and Recreation for its baker.

The contest is open to amateur and professional bakers from all communities. There is just one entry per person. Businesses can sponsor a baker, but individual bakers must make the entrants. For the contest, a pie has “a bottom crust, possible top crust and a filling.” The crusts can be premade, but the fillings must be homemade.

Because of hot August 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 under age 16. Entries must include a complete ingredients list, as well as the recipe.

Township Supervisor Rick Stathakis said in a press release that he didn’t think there could be anything more enjoyable than the Shelby Township Art Fair until he judged the Better Pie Contest at the art fair.

“I am impressed by the variety of pies in the contest, and I am excited to see all of the unique, delicious creations this year,” he said.

Pie submissions are due by 1 p.m. Aug. 14 at the pie contest booth at the art fair. The judges will name the winner at 3 p.m. Entrants must be in attendance at the time of judging at 1 p.m. For more information, visit shelbytwp.org/artfair.

“I have a lot of official duties that I take very seriously as supervisor, but this may be the most impactful. Seriously, though, this contest is another great extension of our art fair. The art fair brings out the best artists in the region, as well as our entire community. The pie contest only expands that participation,” Stathakis stated in the press release.

In addition to Stathakis, the judges panel will include representatives from the Shelby Township Police, Fire, and Parks, Recreation and Maintenance departments. Nick Monacelli from WDIV also will be a judge.

The Shelby Township Art Fair brings both nationally renowned artists and local artists to show their works. The event will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Aug. 14 and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Aug. 15 at River Bends Park, 5700 22 Mile Road. Parking and entry are free with a free shuttle between River Bends Park and Woodall Park at 4101 River Bends Drive off Ryan Road.

Pam Marshall, an employee at the Parks, Recreation and Maintenance Department and the Shelby Township Activities Center, said organizers are very excited about the move to the fair’s new location at River Bends Park.

“Our grounds crew, the office staff and the members of the Shelby Township Art Fair Committee have been making plans all year for the event’s live comeback after the fair went virtual for 2020. We are fortunate to have such a great group that works well together and are looking forward to hosting another event that Shelby Township can be proud of,” she said in an email.

In addition to the art, there will be live music, crafts and activities in the kids’ corner, animals from the Burgess-Shadbush Nature Center, and a chance to visit with Shelby Township police officers and firefighters.

Township Trustee Lucia Di Cicco said she is looking forward to a fun day at the art fair.

“I am looking forward to the art fair and excited to bring my family to enjoy the art and for my daughter to participate in the children’s activities,” she said via email.

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

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