Delectable and sweet with a flaky crust that melts on your tongue is one way to describe the sensation of eating a homemade butter tart.

Perhaps you like the centre rich and creamy, so it oozes down your fingers when you take the first bite. Maybe you like the centre somewhat dense, so the filling slowly begins to descend over the edge of the pastry after your teeth pierce the crust giving you enough time to take another bite.

Midland will be hosting the 7th Ontario’s Best Butter Tart Festival June 8, and expects to see thousands of butter tart enthusiasts who’ll fill their bellies and help decide who the reigning butter tart champ will be.

 “We expect to have at least 200,000 butter tarts available for sale. Whether you like your butter tarts plain, with raisins, runny or firm, vegan, gluten-free, or nut-free, everyone will be able to find a favourite at our festival,” says Karen Mealing, Cultural Development Coordinator for the Town of Midland and organizer of Ontario’s Best Butter Tart Festival.

The festival was named one of the Top 100 Festival and Events by Festival and Events Ontario, and received the 2018 People’s Choice Award for Favourite Regional Festival by the Simcoe County Region Ontario Restaurant, Hotel and Motel Association, informs Mealing.

There’s no better place to have the festival than along the entire downtown core of Midland, and along the waterfront parks. Mealing says 65,000 people attended last year’s festival, and the population of Midland is 17,000.

Admission to the largest and original Butter Tart Festival in Canada is free. Downtown merchants expand their businesses onto the streets and join more than 200 vendors and food trucks selling butter tarts, other baked goods, clothing, jewellery, original works of art, maple syrup, and more, says Mealing.

This year Elizabeth Street will be turned into a temporary green street where 5,000 square feet of sod will be laid out to create a park for families to enjoy. There will be a kids’ area with hands-on activities as well as buskers, street performers, and live music sponsored by the Midland Rotary Club, enlightens Mealing.  

Barb Rowlandson founded the Midland Butter Tart Festival in June 2013, explains Mealing. She baked butter tarts and sold them from her business. It was then that Rowlandson discovered her customers had a love for butter tarts just like she did. 

Rowlandson proposed the idea of a Butter Tart Festival to the Downtown Midland BIA. In the first year of the festival, 10,000 butter tarts were sold within hours, says Mealing. There wasn’t a single butter tart left by noon.

Professional and amateur bakers can compete for the title of Best Butter Tart in Ontario. The contest takes place at Rotary Hall in the Midland Cultural Centre. Visitors can watch and taste samples for free. 

Visit www.buttertartfestival.ca for more information about the festival, and how to enter the baking contest. The deadline for the contest is May 17, or until all spaces are filled.

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