February is National Cherry Month and there’s nothing more cherry than the cherry pie. The folks at Roadside America (who keep track of stuff like this) have this to say about the titanic battle for the World’s Largest Cherry Pie:
Charlevoix was the first into the mix. In 1976 a man named Dave Phillips, in a burst of bicentennial fervor, convinced local businesses in Charlevoix to bake the World’s Largest Cherry Pie as part of the town’s annual cherry festival. A giant pan was built, along with an equally titanic oven. Local farmers supplied the ingredients. The result: a cherry pie weighing 17,420 pounds. It was a world record.
Further south, the town of Traverse City had its own cherry festival. It had perhaps heard one too many boasts from Charlevoix, and in 1987 it decided to do something about it…
The Chef Pierre Bakeries went to work, and on July 25 it baked a cherry pie that put Charlevoix to shame: 28,350 pounds; 17 feet, 6 inches in diameter. As an added snub, the town had Guinness Book of World’s Records certify its pie as the largest ever. Charlevoix’s days in the spotlight were ended after only 11 years.
But time has a way of humbling the proud. The Chef Pierre Bakeries were bought out by Sara Lee. The cherry farms around Traverse City were turned into golf courses. Yuppies from downstate began invading the town, as they were invading Charlevoix. And in 1992, after only five years, Traverse City’s cherry pie crown was knocked clear into Canada when the tiny town of Oliver, British Columbia, baked a cherry pie for the ages — 39,683 pounds.
Check Allen’s photo out bigger.