oonPies have been made at the Chattanooga Bakery since 1917. Earl Mitchell Junior said his father came up with the idea for MoonPies when he asked a Kentucky coal miner what kind of snack he would like to eat, and the miner requested something with graham cracker and marshmallow which had been dipped in chocolate. When Mitchell’s father asked how big it should be, the miner looked up in the night sky and framed the full moon with his hands.
There is a custom for eating moon pies with RC Cola, although the origin of this is unknown. It is likely that their inexpensive prices, combined with their larger serving sizes, contributed to establishing this combination as the “working man’s lunch”. The popularity of this combination was celebrated in a popular song of the 1950s, by Big Bill Lister, “Gimmee an RC Cola and a Moon Pie.”. In 1973, NRBQ had a minor hit with the song, “An RC Cola and a Moon Pie.”
Since New Year’s Eve 2008, the city of Mobile, Alabama raises a 12-foot-tall (3.7 m) lighted mechanical moon pie to celebrate the coming of the new year. The giant banana colored MoonPie is raised by a crane to a height of 200 feet (61 m) as the clock strikes midnight. Also, the city had for the 2008 New Year’s celebration the world’s largest moon pie baked for the occasion. It weighed 55 pounds (25 kg) and contained 45,000 calories.
An annual RC & Moon Pie Festival is celebrated in Bell Buckle, Tennessee, and a Moon Pie Eating Contest is held in Bessemer, Alabama.
On October 16, 2010, Sonya Thomas, a competitive eater known as the “Black Widow,” ate 38 MoonPies in eight minutes in Caruthersville, Missouri.
Newport, Tennessee held its first annual Moon Pie Festival in May 2012.
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