Pie in the Park celebration. Thursday, Aug. 16

By Michele Laboda

Mark your calendars for the 11th annual Pie in the Park celebration on Thursday, Aug. 16. It’s always been a wonderfully warm event that’s welcoming to all. Now that we’ve crossed the finish line on the capital campaign to fund the Village Green Community Center’s construction, we’ve still got lots of work to do — collecting outstanding pledges, paying our debts, raising money to cover the Village Green Foundation’s operating expenses and developing our new goals as we transition from building a place to connect and strengthen community to being that place.

We’ve also been thinking about ways to make Pie in the Park even more accessible to everyone. Toward that end, we’re planning a bunch of new features. As always, there will be pie-tasting and pie-auctioning. Savory offerings will be available on site. The kids’ pie walk and pie-eating contests will be back. A pie-baking contest, judged by a panel of local and professional bakers, is being added to the evening’s activities. The blue ribbon winner will have their name added to a perpetual trophy and event participants will get a chance to buy slices of the best pie. Other pies will be raffled for $5 a ticket.

Also new this year is the golden ticket. We’re planning to sell just 50 chances for $25 each. The holder of the ticket, drawn at the beginning of the auction, will get one the first picks of the pies. And, a couple of guests will be randomly selected to choose one of the auction pies — for free!

Interested in pitching in? Call the Village Green at 360-297-1263 and tell them that you’d like to sign up to help at Pie in the Park. Want to bake? Contact Nancy Martin at nanjmartin@mac.com.

Want to be there? Of course, you do! Pies will be checked in from 4 to 5 p.m. The real fun will start at 5 p.m. with kids’ activities. Grown-ups can preregister for the auction and purchase their golden tickets as well as their raffle chances. Pie tasting takes off at 5:30 p.m. The auction starts at 6:30 p.m. and we’ll have you on your way home by 8 p.m. See you there!