By Richard Bell
This year’s edition of the Seaforth Great Potato Weight-off at the Seaforth Community Hall on October 21 was another rollicking, calorie-stuffed night of fun for kids and grown-ups alike. The potato weigh-in itself went quickly, and then most of the evening’s action focused on raising funds for the Community Hall by auctioning off a stunning array of pies: apple crisp, coconut cream, pumpkin, chocolate bourbon pecan, and more. There was even a Piecaken, a pie inside a cake.
The kids kicked off the evening with a display of potatoes they had decorated, either before the event or with pushpins and glitter at the Hall. The most striking entry was an elaborate variation on a Mexican theme, “Day of the Dead Potato,” put together by Catherine MacDonald and her grandson Kadrian.
Onorio Pirri, who operates the B&B Coastal Waters Accommodations in Three Fathom Harbour with his wife Carolyn, won the grand prize for heaviest potato, weighing in at 1 pound, 10.9 ounces.
Pirri gets to keep the giant Mr. Potato head trophy at his home for a year, along the lines of the Stanley Cup Trophy, but he won’t be holding a parade.
The pie auction at the Great Potato Weigh-Off is the Hall’s principal fundraiser of the year, and the intensity of the bidding was a spirited demonstration of community support. Several times bidders about to fold found friends thrusting $20 bills in their direction to keep them in the bidding. Winners often didn’t bother to take their pies home, gathering friends and financial supporters around to devour the pies on the spot, to the delight of the many children who also dove in.
The highest price of the night went for a glowing golden-brown concoction, Aviva’s Apple Caramel Crumb. Phil Daley, who opened Seaforth Philly’s at what had been Theresa and Heather’s General Store on September 1, was the winning bidder, putting down $300 for the beautiful pie. Daley did not devour his pie on the spot. “I bought it for the community, and I gave it back to the community,” Daley explained several days later. “I didn’t even have a slice myself. I gave slices away to people who came in on Monday for the start of our offering evening meals at the store.”