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Belgian Pie-making at Heritage Village

On July 30, the Door County Historical Society will celebrate the county’s Belgian heritage at the Heritage Village at Big Creek in Sturgeon Bay with Belgian pies and recollections from the Peshtigo Fire.

The first thing that comes to mind when you think “Belgian” is a delicious Belgian pie. Traditionally, the pies are served during the Belgian kermiss, a three-day harvest celebration. For the neophytes, Belgian pie consists of a sweet raised dough crust filled with fruit or a rice mixture similar to rice pudding. Of course, one variation found only in Door County is the cherry Belgian pie. “Piemaster” Gina Wautier will demonstrate the technique of making the Belgian pies in the Collins Learning Center from 11 am to 1:30 pm. Homemade whole pies as well as slices of rice, prune, apple and Door County cherry will be available for sale. Whole pies may be pre-ordered; homemade pies cost $10 and slices (topped with whipping cream) are $2.50.

Barb Englebert Chisholm will recall the night of the Peshtigo Fire from the stories told by her great-grandparents. On the evening of Oct. 8, 1871 the worst recorded forest fire in North American history raged through Northeastern Wisconsin and Upper Michigan, destroying millions of dollars of property, timberland, and between 1,200 and 2,400 lives. Chisholm’s first-person interpretation of her great-grandparents and how they survived during and after the fire will be given at 11:30 am and 1 pm in the Vignes School.

On July 30, guests may also explore the Heritage Village during self-guided tours from 10 am to 3 pm, but programs and sampling will be held from 11 am to 2 pm.

The Heritage Village is located at 2041 Michigan St. in Sturgeon Bay. Admission to the Village’s historic buildings, pie-making and blacksmith demonstrations, and the Peshtigo Fire storytelling is $5 for adults 18 years and older; no admission fee is charged for children. Pies and beverages are available for purchase. To pre-order pies or for more information, call 920.421.2332 or [email protected].

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