Brevard has several excellent food and wine festivals, but as far as eclectic goes, no other festival in town can compete with the Florida Key Lime Pie Festival, product of Mr. Key Lime himself, Lou Morehead of Florida Key Lime Pie Company.
Morehead’s Cocoa Beach shop next to Ron Jon has become a tourist mecca for Key lime pie fans who crave the stuff in the many versions Morehead dishes out. The festival, a frosting on the Key lime pie, should make them – and anyone else who enjoys Florida’s favorite dessert – very happy campers.
The festival is back again for the eighth time, this year on Jan. 19 at picturesque Veterans Memorial Park. More than 10,000 Key lime lovers are expected to attend.
Q: How did your Key lime mania begin, Lou?
A: I had been in the tropical plant nursery business for many years when the economy went down in 2006 and I needed to supplement my income. I wanted to open a business that both locals and tourists alike would enjoy. Why not Key lime pies? Everyone loves them.
Q: What is your history, Lou?
A: I was the first baby born at Cape Canaveral Hospital and was raised in Cocoa Beach until my parents built the Space Center Campground, which is now Manatee Hammock Park in Titusville.
I spent a lot of time growing up on the banks of the Indian River under the shadow of the space program.
Q: Why did you decide to launch the Key Lime Pie Festival?
A: There is such a love for Key lime pie that I thought it would be perfect to create a festival to celebrate Florida’s official state pie and favorite dessert.
Q: What is special about the Florida Key Lime Pie Festival?
A: We have events no one else has, such as the Key lime pie hula-hoop challenge and the Key lime pie jump-rope competition. We’ll also have a pie-toss competition, a live mermaid show, a hypnotist, the Florida handcrafted beer-chuggers contest, plus lots of other things going on.
The festival is the site for the Florida Key Lime Pie Festival and Veteran’s Memorial Park Classic thoroughbred hermit crab races.
The main feature of this year’s festival is the Show No Mercy for the Sheriff event. Key lime pie lovers will challenge Brevard County sheriff and pie expert Wayne Ivey to a Key Lime Pie Chow Down Showdown.
Q: Will Key lime pies be available for just eating?
A: We’ll have our world-famous Key lime pie whole, as well as by the slice and even as a “Key lime pie in a cup.”
We’ll also have Key lime apple cider available from 3 Daughters Brewing and Conch Republic Key Lime Wheat Beer. At the Florida Key Lime Pie Company Store tent, we’ll have a Florida tropical fruit wine tasting.
Q: What makes your Key lime pies unique?
A: Our real Florida Key lime pies are natural and true to the original pie created by Aunt Sally, who was Captain William Curry's cook back in the day. She is credited with coming up with the recipe.
A: I owe everything to my parents, Louis and Barbara Morehead. They taught me most everything that I know and have applied in my life.
Q: Three words that describe you?
A: Driven, tenacious, visionary.
If you go
What: Eighth annual Florida Key Lime Pie Festival
When: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 19
Where: Veterans Memorial Park, 400 Sykes Creek Parkway, Merritt Island
Cost: $10 for adults and $5 for children 12 and younger
Children younger than 4 are admitted free, as are active and retired members of the military with proper identification.
Web: For more information on the Key Lime Pie Festival, see facebook.com/FloridaKeyLimePieFestival.
For more on the Florida Key Lime Pie Company, see flkeylimepies.com. The store is at 102 Dixie Lane, Cocoa Beach, next to Ron Jon Surf Shop. Hours are 10 a.m. until 6:30 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday.
This article originally appeared on Florida Today: Florida Key lime pie: So popular it has its own festival