Rokeby's pie & ice cream returns this Sunday


Volunteers serve pie at the annual Pie & Ice Cream Social at Rokeby Museum a few years back. This Ferrisburgh staple is back on the table this year. Don’t miss the 36th annual event on Sunday, Aug. 15, from 1-4 p.m.

Lindsay Houpt-Varner, who took over as director at Rokeby Museum last fall, is expecting a crowd of people at the Ferrisburgh museum’s revival of the annual Pie & Ice Cream Social this Sunday, Aug. 15. This fundraiser began in 1985 to benefit the institution and is back (after skipping a year due to COVID) with more than 54 pies. Independent photo/Steve James

Are you a lover of all things pie? Yes. (Come on, who isn’t.) 

Peach, apple, rhubarb, pecan, mince, all the berries you can imagine… pie. Yum. Well, we’re all in luck, because a spread of at least 54 pies, baked by over 20 volunteers, will be open to the public to come an enjoy during Rokeby Museum’s annual Pie & Ice Cream Social this Sunday, Aug. 15, from 1-4 p.m.

“This will be the 36th year the museum has hosted this event,” said Lindsay Houpt-Varner, who took over as director of Rokeby Museum in the fall of 2020. “The first pie social was held in 1985. It’s a community staple.”

Unfortunately, last year’s event had to be cancelled due to the pandemic. But Houpt-Varner said when folks asked her if Rokeby was going to host the event this year she said: “Yes! Absolutely.” 

Houpt-Varner is supported by a team of amazing volunteers, who are organized this year by Maisie Howard.

“I was a former board member of Rokeby Museum,” said Howard, who guesses she’s been going to these socials for the past decade or so. “This event is one of the things I just love volunteering for. It’s one of my favorite events, so when they asked me to help, I couldn’t say no.”

Howard — who, when not volunteering is the director of development for Vermont Works for Women — was tasked with reaching out to people who have baked pies in the past, and asking them if they’d like to volunteer again. 

“The bakers are off in their kitchens making the pies right now,” she said. “Then they’ll bring their pies to Rokeby and we’ll set out all the pies on a great big, long table set on the historic grounds of the house. It’s beautiful.”

The portions are beautiful too, Howard assured. 

“Lots of folks in the area know this event happens every year and they have their calendars marked,” Howard said, adding that in years past they’ve seen around 300 people show up. 

A slice of pie costs $5. Add ice cream and it’s $6. If you’re feeling generous, donations to benefit the work at Rokeby are always welcome.

The museum will be open to the public for free during the event (1-4 p.m.) where guests can view the seasonal exhibit “A Modern Artist: The Commercial Art of Rachael Robinson Elmer” and the permanent exhibit “Free & Safe: The Underground Railroad in Vermont.” All of the out buildings will be open, as well as the education center.

“This is a great opportunity to support the fundraiser and see the museum,” Houpt-Varner said, adding special thanks to their primary sponsor for this year’s event: Pomerleau Real Estate. “They’re helping to underwrite the supplies that we need for the event…. We also have Ben & Jerry’s donating the ice cream and amazing gift baskets for the raffle from Seventh Generation, King Arthur Baking Company, The Vermont Book Shop, and the Vermont Teddy Bear Company.”

Raffle tickets are $5 for one, and $20 for a sleeve. Bring a few bucks in cash, these gift baskets are worth it.

“This is my first big community event as the new director,” said Houpt-Varner, who moved up from Carlisle, Penn., where she worked as the community outreach director for the Cumberland County Historical Society, to accept the directorship in Ferrisburgh. “I will be there, sampling the pie and look forward to meeting everyone!”

Editor’s Note: Interested in being a sponsor for Rokeby’s future events? Visit rokeby.org to find out more.

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Addison County Independent