Knock, knock. Who’s there? Annie. Annie who? Annie body want a MoonPie?
That was one of the jokes told by a group of adorable kids who performed a “Tribute to Earl Mitchell” at the first “MoonPie in the Smokies” festival yesterday in Cocke County. They told jokes, sang MoonPie songs set to familiar tunes, and acted in a skit about the invention of the MoonPie. I was impressed with how well they did.
The microphones were positioned for the young performers, which created a challenge for a local country deejay who introduced the 10:30 a.m. show. The tribute also included a couple of dance routines by the MoonPiettes.
I love that the festival honors the fact that Earl Mitchell is buried in Union Cemetery. About eight years (and 40 pounds) ago, I traveled to Middle Tennessee for the RC Cola – MoonPie Festival in Bell Buckle. As far as I know, Bell Buckle doesn’t have any MoonPie-related gravesites. I hope Cocke County’s new event will expand to be as big as Bell Buckle’s. Cocke County Partnership President Don Hurst told me they are thinking ahead to the 100th birthday of the MoonPie in 2017.
Both Bell Buckle and Cocke County have a World’s Largest MoonPie at their respective festivals. The giant confections are custom-baked by Chattanooga Bakery, Inc. Near the end of each festival, the large MoonPies are sliced and served to visitors. The huge MoonPie was not quite as big as the MoonPie costume I saw when I first arrived. Several volunteers took turns wearing it throughout the day. They made the mistake of leaving the costume unattended while I was shooting a segment for SMOMOtv. I grabbed it and put it on before anyone could stop me.