CALUMET, Mich. (WZMQ) – Downtown Calumet was transformed into a pasty lover’s dream over the weekend. Thousands of people traveled to the Copper Country to have fun and enjoy the miners meal.
If someone came up with a list of the most yooper things a pasty eating contest would probably be near the top of the list. But a pasty themed festival takes things to the next level.
“It was a staple food for miners, and it’s kind of a cornerstone of U.P. tradition,” remarked Leah Polzien, the Executive Director or Mainstreet Calumet.
There’s a lot more to see than just the cornish inspired dish at the festival. There was live music, vendors, and even some larger than life sized pasties walking around. The economic impact of bringing thousands to the town is huge according to Polzien.
“It’s absolutely great to have the foot traffic downtown, and bring people into businesses they have never been in before,” added Polzien
Let’s not lose sight of what this festival is all about. 6 vendors were making sure everyone who wanted to enjoy the pastry lined meat and potato superfood had the chance too. Thousands of them were available for purchase at the festival. One cafe sold over 700 alone.
New this year was the pasty olympics. A series of pasty themed competitions that put attendees against one another.
“We had a pasty making relay race, we had a strong man truck pull, pulling ingredients in the back of a truck, and we will have a pasty eating competition,” said Polzien.
The festival has far reaching impacts for the businesses in Calumet. Some like the griffin family cafe, who claim to have the best pasties around, say the festival is a gamechanger.
“We are not right on the beaten path, so people have to come and find us so this is great exposure, people can come find out where to get the best pasties,” confidently stated Kelly Griffin, the owner of Griffin Family Cafe
If there was ever time to get one of the more controversial questions you can ask a yooper answered, pasty fest is the place. So we asked what do those in attendance prefer on their pasty Gravy or Ketchup?
“Gravy all the way man, gravy,” said one man but his wife quickly disagreed stating “I have to say plain,” but as usual the other side of the argument made itself known.
“ketchup and butter,” answered Polzien when asked what her preferred condiment is.
Pasty fest will be back next summer. For more information on the festival and the vendors selling pasties visit here.