On August 24, 2022

What’s more whimsically fun than a whoopie pie?

Celebrate in downtown Rutland Saturday with a street party, Parade of Heros, concert and fireworks

Staff report

The whoopie pie — alternatively called a black moon, gob (term indigenous to the Pittsburgh region), black-and-white, bob, or “BFO” for Big Fat Oreo — is an American baked product that may be considered either a cookie, pie, sandwich, or cake. It is made of two round mound-shaped pieces of usually chocolate cake, or sometimes pumpkin, gingerbread or other flavored cakes, with a sweet, creamy filling or frosting sandwiched between them, according to Micheline Maynard’s article “Whoopie! Cookie, Pie or Cake, It’s Having Its Moment” published in the The New York Times, March 17, 2009.

“Food historians believe whoopie pies originated in Pennsylvania, where they were baked by Amish women and put in farmers’ lunchboxes,” Maynard contends. “Tired from a morning’s work, the farmers purportedly would shout ‘Whoopie!’ if they discovered one of the desserts in their lunch pails.”

While the whoopie pie was first baked over 100 years ago, the past decade has seen the treat take on a new popularity with huge festivals dedicated to the dessert in both Maine and Pennsylvania.

Now Rutland will join in on the fun.

The festivities Saturday are aimed at “bringing the community together for celebration, connection, and reflection after two years of the pandemic,” according to a news release for the event.

Center Street in Rutland will shut down for the day and morph into a grass-covered green street. Afternoon activities such as yoga, a gaga pit, a caricature artist, a magician, balloon art, and more will begin at noon.

Numerous whoopie pie venders will offer samples of their products, and tickets to taste whoopie pies and vote for your favorites will be available. In addition to whoopie pies, vendors will offer other sweet treats for sale, local restaurants will be open, and food trucks will add to the celebration.

Heroes will line up at 4 p.m. at Grace Congregational Church. At 4:30 p.m. marchers step off, led down Center Street by Heritage Family’s Captain Credit Union. After the parade, community heroes, who continue to help navigate the Covid-19 pandemic, will be honored, whoopie pies awards will be announced, and we will unveil the largest whoopie pie in Rutland.

Enerjazz Band will entertain festival goers from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on the green street. Prepare to laugh at 7:30 p.m. at Rutland’s Newly-Wed Game at the Paramount Theatre, a fundraiser for the Community Cupboard and BROC Food Shelf. More information and participating couples will be announced soon. The festivities will wrap up with fireworks at 9:15 p.m.

“Everyone is ready for some fun, and we are all so appreciative of the hard work medical and other essential workers have done,” CEDDR Executive Director Lyle Jepson said. “We will celebrate and honor the medical workers, emergency responders, and everyone who helped protect and serve our communities during this unprecedented time.”

The Paramount Theatre’s executive director, Eric Mallette, said the August event will include special guests and surprises.“It will be a fun and exciting event for the whole family,” Mallette said.“It will be like a combination of Friday Night Live and a victory party!”

Matt Levandowski, president and CEO of HFCU, looks forward to honoring workers who helped make Rutland County one of the safest places in the country during the pandemic. “From front-line medical workers and police, fire and rescue crews, teachers and tellers, to grocery store, utility and trucking workers, we owe a huge debt of gratitude, and we want to say, ‘thanks’ in a way the whole community can enjoy,” Levandowski said.

RRMC President and CEO, Claudio Fort said he is grateful for the region’s continued collaboration in recovering and moving past the COVID-19 crisis and looks forward to the upcoming celebration in August. “We are proud of our employees and the community at large,” Fort said. “The Rutland Region is incredibly resilient, and Rutland Regional is proud to support these important events to reconnect with and celebrate our community.”

For more info visit rutlandwhoopiepiefest.com.

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