By Vanessa Broadbent
A record-breaking sized cherry pie put Oliver on the map in 1990 and now it’s doing it again.
Weighing in at 37,713 pounds and with a diameter of 20 feet, the world’s biggest cherry pie is the subject of an upcoming episode of TV show BC Was Awesome.
The show focusses on the province’s odd and unusual stories, the ones that may not have been breaking news but are just as interesting.
“Weird history is how we build the show,” said show host Bob Kronbauer. “We find weird stories and the Guinness World Record’s biggest pie was the weirdest one we could find.”
Along with the rest of the BC Was Awesome crew, Kronbauer spent all of Tuesday learning the story about the pie, and even making one of his own with Oliver’s Carolyn Madge who was park manager at the time.
Madge was interviewed about the pie on the Food Network’s Pitchin’ In in 2012. BC Was Awesome producer Tony Cerciello saw the episode and knew he wanted her on his show as well.
“I could tell from the get-go that she was going to be really fun on camera and be a good character for Bob to interact with.”
After baking a pie, regular sized this time, the next stop on the itinerary was a celebratory event hosted by the Oliver Rotary Club, the group that facilitated the baking of the pie in 1990.
And Kronbauer got to hear all about it, first hand.
“That’s what I’m excited about, talking to all the people that were there,” he said. “Everybody is so stoked on it and so enthusiastic. It’s such a great thing to speak to the community.”
Cerciello suggested that the pie’s success is a symbol of Oliver’s sense of community, which he found made the taping of this episode of BC Was Awesome easier than most.
“I’ve put together a lot of these shoots and had to make a lot of calls to put something like this together and this is easily the most enthusiastic response I’ve ever gotten,” he said. “They’ve made our job really easy.”
Members of the Rotary Club met at the Air Cadet Hangar with community members that were either involved in the baking of the pie, or the eating of it. They exchanged stories, reminisced about the over-sized pastry, and – of course – ate cherry pie.
Bob Ellis, the project coordinator in 1990, told the group about the many steps it took to complete the project, from recruiting the high school’s math teacher to help convert a recipe for a nine-inch pie, to donating the 250 gallons of leftover pie filling.
“I still remember, we were up at three o’clock in the morning, rolling out pastry,” he recalled.
“It was an enjoyable experience; it was a little bit nerve-wracking because you’re worried that things aren’t going to turn out.”
But everything turned out; the pie broke the record – which it still holds – and made it into the Guinness Book of World Records.
And now the pie is getting another 15 minutes of fame. The episode is scheduled to air by the end of the summer on Optik TV and online at vancouverisawesome.com/bcwasawesome.