The letters spell out “WORLDS LARGEST CHERRY PIE” and for 11 years it was.
I had to brake when I saw the enormous pie pan with a (fake) slice of cherry pie inside, along Highway 31 south of Charlevoix.
The display is in a nicely landscaped setting in the shadow of the water tower, and commemorates the brainchild of a Mr. Dave Phillips who rolled out the idea for the giant pie in 1976.
The 2-foot deep, 7-ton pie tin was lined with a 1,730-pound pie crust and loaded with 12,750 pounds of cherry filling—that’s 4,950 pounds of Michigan cherries and 540 pounds of sugar in the 14’4″ in diameter pan.
I would have like to have seen the egg wash and sugar being “distributed on top of the pie crust using a helicopter.” The monster dessert was then baked for 5 hours in an 18-foot oven built by Medusa Cement.
The 14,480-pound pie held the “world’s largest” bragging rights from 1976 until 1987 when Traverse City captured the honor with its 17’6″ pie, which weighed in at 28,350 pounds.
The title now belongs to the town of Oliver, British Columbia where in 1990 they cooked up a cherry pie weighing an incredible 18,000 kg (that’s about 39,683 pounds).
So Charlevoix can brag about having made what now ranks as the world’s third largest cherry pie.
It’s great that the town folk saved the pie tin, but what I’d really like to see is the rolling pin that turned out the crust.