It’s a Lawrenceville tradition, and this year, the Joy of Cookies tour is getting competitive.
Attendees can vote for the best cookie in the 40 stops, and the winning location gets “The Cookie Cup.”
“It’s like the Stanley Cup — plus cookies,” said Paul Bierker, the trophy’s designer and the founder of Paul Michael Designs in Lawrenceville.
The Stanley Cup-inspired trophy is sterling silver, and the details match the cookie designs that are used to promote the tour. It will travel from winner to winner, and each year the name of the winner will be engraved, Bierker said.
The free self-guided cookie tour runs today through Sunday and includes cookie stops on Butler Street and parts of Penn Avenue, as well as places to break for lunch and coffee.
Businesses keep their own hours, but generally are open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. today to Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. (The tour map has locations and hours.)
Once you’ve decided on your favorite cookie, here’s how to vote:
Go to Facebook, Instagram or Twitter and tag the business with the best cookies and use the hashtag #cookietour2016. (Remember to make the post public so it can be counted by the Lawrenceville Corporation.) If you don’t use social media, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 412-621-1616 ext. 102.
The Lawrenceville Corporation will tally the location with the most mentions using the hashtag after 5 p.m. Dec. 4 and announce the winner Dec. 5.
Also, one contest voter will win a framed poster featuring the Lawrenceville Doughboy.
Genevieve Barbee-Turner, marketing and communications coordinator for the Lawrenceville Corporation, said business owners are already having fun with the contest and saying “I’m winning that trophy. It’s my trophy.”
Bierker said he came up with the trophy idea after falling in love with the event last year, after moving his business to Lawrenceville.
His family made — and ran out of —more than 40 dozen cookies using a family recipe for butter-based sugar cookies with butter cream frosting. Plus, the cookies have the store’s logo using a stamp that Bierker made. (And yes, the same cookies will be back this year.)
Plus, he said it was a great way to meet get hundreds of people at once and connect with new customers.
“It was the best thing I’ve ever seen in my life,” he said.
Find the cookie tour map here. You can also get printed versions at the participating businesses, various locations and in the the Nov. 30th edition of the Pittsburgh City Paper.