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Great ready to open your pie hole; it's the Great N.H. Pie Festival

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BELLYING UP TO EHE (PIE) BAR: Eventgoers at last year's event saunter through the pie tent to enjoy the sampling at last year's Pie Festival. (Rochester Voice file photo)

MILTON - Maybe because it's finally sweater weather and easier to hide a couple of extra pounds. Or maybe because it's almost fall and baking won't further heat up a hot, stuffy kitchen. Or maybe, and most likely, it's just because most people just carry a distinct fondness for pie.

For whatever reason, this Sunday's 10th annual "Great New Hampshire Pie Festival," is the New Hampshire Farm Museum's most popular event of the year.

The festival draws bakers from all over the area in pursuit of pie perfection in this amateur pie baking contest. Visitors will get to judge the competition among commercially made pies in the 1st People's Choice Awards.

Pie Festival entry form

1st-, 2nd- and 3rd-place prizes will be awarded for the best Apple, Non-Apple Fruit, Non-Fruit, and Savory pies. There will also be a kids division (any kind of pie, baker up to 13 years) and a teen category (baker 13-17 years).

The best pie of all will win the prestigious Louise Hoage award.

The six categories (four for adults, and one each for teens and youngsters) are described as follows, according to the NH Farm Museum Facebook Page:

Apple: a predominantly apple containing pie, not mixed fruit or sausage pie that has apple. Three cranberries or some orange zest added to apples and sugar is still an apple pie; this category should allow anyone to go oh that's an apple pie.

Non-apple fruit: Cherry pie, blueberry etc. It is a non-predominantly apple based pie containing fruit as its major element. Being a custard or cream pie precludes it from this category. Adding an apple slice is still in category, containing no fruit, or more chocolate and eggs are a no.

Non-fruit: Being sweet non-fruit based, but not necessarily no fruit. Chocolate, pecan, all custard or egg or cream based pies, key lime, lemon meringue, pumpkin.

Savory: Quiche, pork pie, asparagus etc. Can contain meat, veggie, fruit, egg, cream whatever, but savory versus sweet as central element.

Teen: any pie baked by an individual 13-17 years of age.

Kid: any pie baked by those under 13 years of age,

Finally the rules insist you have to have made and baked the pie yourself.

Those bringing a pie get in free.

Doors open for pie drop-offs at 11 a.m., and for visitors at noon.

Visitors ages 3 and up are $10, members are $4 for kids and $7 for adults.

Among the judges this year will be Rochester Voice President Martha Soto Galicia, who said she's looking forward to the event with great excitement.

"I feel like I've trained my whole life for this," she said today.

Storyteller Rebecca Rule will also be on hand at the Pie Fest from 12:30-1:15 p.m.

For more info call 603.652.7840.

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