Arts and Entertainment

Festival at Mount Si | Cherries, berries delight at food contests

Indulge your sweet tooth in a variety of ways—some messy, some not—at the 2011 Festival at Mount Si.

Berry-filled events include the Burstin’ with Blueberries cooking contest, at 12:30 p.m. Saturday, and the cherry pie eating contest, 2:15 p.m. on Saturday.

Lifelong “foodie” and local food tour host Jan Marie Johnson mixed food into the Festival to knead in a spirit of competition. She started the blueberry dessert contest a few years ago to give cooks the chance to strut their stuff, then added a cherry pie-eating contest with the help of Twede’s Cafe to really spark some appetites.

“There’s nothing like seeing someone gorge on pies,” Johnson said.

Entrants will be divided into two age groups; age 5 to 12, and 13 and above. Winners will take home a trophy and bragging rights.

Participants devise creative stage names to represent themselves, and spectators cheer for their favorites by ‘name’ as competitors pig-out on pie.

Those interested in competing are encouraged to register at 1 p.m. at the information booth on Saturday, as there will only be enough pie for a limited number of adults and children. Then it’s just a matter of working up an appetite and scarfing down as many pies as possible. The event draws upwards of 300 spectators and creates quite a bit of noise.

Contestants need to be at the second stage by 1:45 p.m., and all eaters must fill out a waiver form. Children under 18 must have their parents sign; you must be at least age 5 to take part.

The six-year-old contest has made good use of the staple cherry pies at Twede’s Cafe. The pastries got a shot of fame from the Twin Peaks cult mystery series; Cafe owner Kyle Twede says he goes through about 70 pies a week. They’re Twede’s most popular item.

Blueberries galore

Lower on the mess scale, but just as heavy in food and fun, is the ninth-annual Burstin’ with Blueberries Dessert Contest.

“We receive some really fun and interesting entrants,” Johnson said. Participants whip up their favorite home-made, blueberry-themed desserts to present to the contest judges.

“I like to promote the local businesses and berry heritage of the Valley,” Johnson said. “It’s a great time to celebrate the season and what is home grown.”

First, second and third prize winners will each receive a trophy. The top contestant will also take home $25 cash and five pounds of blueberries from Bybee-Nims Blueberry Farm.

Those interested in entering one of their original creations can register at the information booth at 11:45 a.m. Judging begins at 12:30 p.m. and the winners will be announced at 1:15 p.m. To learn more, call (425) 888-3788.

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