Pie Festival Goes High Tech

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Saturday October 3, 2009

Pie baking contests bring to mind stirring things on a hot stove and rolling out pie dough. They also evoke a sense of nostalgia for many people. Not surprisingly leading up to the first Charlottesville Pie Fest a lot baking happened but, so did a lot of twittering.

"I've been drooling over my keyboard for the past two days as people described what kinds of pies they were making and talked about baking their own organic crusts or melting down chocolate, or pureeing fruits” said festival attendee Rebecca Cooper. “There was no way I was not going to show up after having read delicious descriptions of the pie baking process."

About 100 people packed into the Mud House Coffee Shop in Crozet mostly because of people tweeting about this event. It started with just a few bakers and mushroomed to more than 27 people deciding to enter.

All the money raised from pies auctioned off at Saturday's event goes to support the homeless shelter program organized by PACEM. PACEM organizers also credit the internet with the success of this event.

"I think really it got on twitter and then it began to grow incrementally” said PACEM executive director Colleen Keller. “The Mud House people said you can have it here and they really have done it. It's a real grass roots just pie festival.”

That very real grass roots feeling of community stemming from a virtual one is something people here say they aren't surprised by.

"It's just sort of fun to feel like you're part of a community whether you've met the people in person or not” said Cooper. “And then have opportunities to like this where it turns from a virtual interaction into an in person social interaction."

All total the event raised $800 for PACEM. The lemon chiffon pie proved to be big winner taking home the blue ribbon.

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