When it comes to fundraising, most people settle for a bake sale, car wash, or a lemonade stand. Not the town of Coxheath, England. When planning to build a village hall, local politician Mike Fitzgerald devised a less traditional method of securing funds: a custard pie throwing competition.
Inspired by Charlie Chaplin’s pie-throwing in Behind the Screen, the tradition began in 1967. To date, people from China, Japan, Canada, and the United States have traveled to the British town in hopes of taking home the championship title. Contestants compete in groups of four, and they’re allowed to throw using only their left hand. Points are given for hitting the opposing team, who normally stands but a few feet away. A pie to the face results in six points, a direct hit anywhere from the shoulders up gets three points, and anywhere else on the body earns one. A player who misses his target three times, will receive a point reduction.
Some contestants choose to wear costumes (which range from animals to “grannies” to pirates), but by the end of the day, everyone’s wearing custard. Unfortunately for those interested in replicating the event’s signature custard pie at home, the recipe is a well-kept secret with the only confirmed ingredients being flour and water.
Need to Know
The competition is typically held in early June. Check the event website for upcoming dates. A team requires four people, and there is an entry fee of £40 per team.
Where to Try It
Coxheath Village Hall Grounds50 Stockett Ln, Coxheath, Maidstone, ME17 4PX, United Kingdom
The typical spot for the competition.