With apologies to surprise parties, block parties and political parties, the best kind of party is a pie party.
Tucson boasts a long-running and very popular Pie Party. Ian Fritz and Turtle Southern started it 11 years ago as a celebration amongst friends. Each year it grew larger.
Last year’s Pie Party drew more than 500 people and raised several thousand dollars for charity.
Now Southern and Fritz have decided to pass the pie party torch.
This year’s Pie Party will be organized by the Food Conspiracy Co-op and will be held on Saturday, May 10, from 3-6 p.m. at Mercado San Agustin.
“We’re very excited for the opportunity to continue this wonderful tradition,” said Food Conspiracy Co-op Outreach + Education Coordinator Kelly Watters.”
Though previous Pie Parties have taken the form of a competition, this year’s event will be a pie potluck. Anyone can submit a pie to the Pie Party. Just drop off your pie (or pies) at the Mercado between 1-2 p.m.
“If I think back to all of the Pie Parties over the years, there are certain pies I will never forget,” said Southern. “A gorgeous heirloom tomato creation, an award-winning artichoke pie, and this one particular strawberry pie many years ago that was more than I ever dreamed possible. Bites that were so heavenly they brought tears to my eyes.”
This year’s Pie Party proceeds will benefit two local nonprofits. Pie Party attendees will vote to choose which nonprofit will receive the proceeds from the evening. For each slice of pie attendees buy they will get one vote. Slices of pie will cost $3, or $5 for two slices.
Eligible nonprofits include El Grupo Youth Cycling, Ironwood Tree Experience, The Happy Organization, Native American Advancement Foundation, Tucson Village Farm, and the Farm Education Resource Network.
“The Co-op does so much to tie our community together, and I’m eager to see where this pie tradition travels,” Southern said. “I hope you’ll come participate in the tastiest, most memorable fundraiser Tucson’s ovens have to offer.”