Nappanee, IN -- The Nappanee Apple Festival is underway with the usual apple-themed products, rides and entertainment.
The cornerstone of the event is the making of an apple pie fit for a giant.
Volunteers spent a good part of the day Thursday making a 7-foot-wide apple pie, which weighs around 600 pounds.
A number of them have helped for several years, but for others, it's their first time helping make the enormous pie. It's a sought after job with a little prestige involved.
"It's exciting," said chief pie maker Mim Hartman. "Who can say that you helped make the largest apple pie in the state of Indiana. It is exciting, and not everybody gets this opportunity. We have to make sure that we are all organized."
"Our 7-foot apple is a big part of our festival," added Apple Festival Director Lora Beachy. "People come from a long distance to see it. It takes hours to put it together, back it and cut it up."
It takes about 4 1/2 hours from start to finish to make. It includes 100 pounds of pie dough, roughly 16 bushels of apples and dozens of eggs among other things and is done in stages.
First, the dough is made in smaller portions and then rolled into a solid sheet of dough. When that's done, the pie filling is added and smoothed out. Then, it's time to put the lattice on top, crisscrossing the pie. From there, it goes into a huge oven.
"It's made in one of our big ovens from a bakery from years and years ago, so we still have the oven in town," said Beachy.
For volunteers, the payoff is seeing the expressions of festival goers, especially kids, who will see it for the first time.
"I have never seen anything like this," Hartman said. "Wow, how many people can eat it?"
The huge pie will be served Friday morning when it comes out of the oven. The pie is at the El Lindo Mexican Restaurant on West Market Street.