The creation of the world’s largest Key lime pie, the wacky Miss Key Lime Pageant, pie-eating and cooking contests and other tasty temptations await Key West visitors July 3-5 during the second annual Key Lime Festival.
Celebrating the Florida Keys’ signature dessert and the tiny fruit that inspired it, the flavorful festival is to kick off Thursday, July 3, with a 2-5 p.m. Key Lime Bar Krawl. Plans call for “krawlers” to sample Key lime martinis and margaritas at local watering holes and select their favorites.
The festival’s highlight is to be an attempt by event founder David Sloan, author of “The Ultimate Key Lime Pie Cookbook,” and three fellow chefs to shatter their own record for baking the largest Key lime pie in history.
In 2013 the quartet created a gargantuan pie that measured more than 8 feet in diameter and required the juice of 5,760 yellow Key limes. They plan to prepare and serve the 2014 pie, expected to reach 9 feet in diameter, during a lively street party set for 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, July 4, on Greene Street just off Duval Street.
The festival’s annual Key Lime Pie Eating Contest is to be staged during the street party as well.
Believed to have originated in Key West in the late 1800s, Key lime pie was designated Florida’s official pie in 2006 by the state legislature. Its primary ingredients are condensed milk, egg yolks and Key lime juice, with the creamy filling typically nestled in a graham cracker crust and topped with whipped cream or meringue.
Attractions Saturday, July 5, include a pie-making challenge for amateur and professional bakers. Pies are to be judged on criteria including appearance, flavor balance and originality, and spectators can purchase tickets to sample and cast People’s Choice votes.
The festival is to conclude with Saturday night’s Miss Key Lime U.S.A. Pageant, a tangy takeoff on the Miss America competition. The contestant who scores highest in the talent, costume, vintage style and Q-&-A categories will take the crown and step into the “limelight.”