BUCKTOWN — Time is running out for bakers to put their apple pie recipes to the test in a "Clash of the Pie-Tins" themed-competition on Sunday in Bucktown.
Organizers say it will be the largest contest of its kind devoted to apple pie, with 125 amateur and pro chefs prepared to duke it out for top honors.
The ninth annual Bucktown Apple Pie Contest is scheduled for 2-5 p.m. Sunday and hopes to draw 2,000 people to the field house in Holstein Park at 2200 N. Oakley in Bucktown.
Just eight slots remain for those interested in battling it out for "culinary supremacy and bragging rights" as of late Monday. Register online here.
Though admission to the event is free, it will cost you to eat pie as well as compete.
The entry fee for contestants is $25, and they are required to bring two pies, which will be sliced up and sold, according to contest rules.
Proceeds from the event, the largest fundraiser of the year for Friends of Holstein Park — a nonprofit Chicago Park District advisory group— will benefit "park improvements, safety and community-building initiatives," said Michael Messaros, a contest spokesman.
This year’s theme, “Clash of the Pie-Tins,” was suggested by former contestant and 2013 judge Emily Miller. It has inspired a poster by local artist Jason Castillo.
A departure from previous years’ posters — the most recent of which depicted a pin-up style female baker with tattoos — this year's artwork is designed to "capture the competitive spirit of the contest while recognizing the folksy heart" of the event, organizers said.
"The Bucktown Apple Pie Contest has, for us, made fall a mythic adventure of apple picking, coming up with elaborate themes for our pies, and late nights comparing the effects of lard and butter in a crust and how different varieties of apples bake down," Miller said in a new release.
In addition to the pie contest, which takes place in the field house, the afternoon includes activities outside such as "inflatable pony rides," which use large, horse-shaped bouncy balls. Messaros cautioned Monday that the rides may be canceled in the event of rain.
The Bucktown Apple Pie Contest started in 2005 with 50 bakers and raised $1,800. Last year, the contest made about $9,000. This year the organizers have a goal of $15,000, Messaros said.
In addition to Miller, Sunday's panel of judges include Tribune food writer Bill Daley, Chopping Block owner Shelley Young, and Murphy MacDonald, whose “Rustic Apple Pie” captured first place at the contest in 2012.