Visitors to Rockland from all over New England, and as far away as Texas and Colorado, toured the city Jan. 24 as part of the sixth annual Pies on Parade, an event to raise money for Area Interfaith Outreach.

AIO is a coalition of area religious institutions that provides meals, helps stock and operate food pantries, and offers fuel assistance for those in need.

According to the Web site at piecouncil.org, National Pie Day was created by the American Pie Council to celebrate the “love and enjoyment of pie eating.” Pies on Parade, sponsored by Historic Inns of Rockland, celebrates National Pie Day by offering visitors an opportunity to sample sweet and savory pies at the four member inns and at more than a dozen other locations throughout the city, while supporting AIO’s work in the community. This year there were 19 participating venues.

“It’s a good cause,” said Rockland resident Phyllis Merriam as she tried a slice of White Chocolate Chip Macaroon Pie at Bricks. “It’s fun to ride the trolley and it builds community.”

Among the 55 different types of pie served this year were a gluten-free Not Too Sweet Potato Pie at Rheal Day Spa and a Chocolate Mousse Pie at Amalfi on the Water. More than 6,000 slices were served in all.

All Aboard Trolley, a key donor for the event, donated its services, keeping a sellout crowd of at least 400 attendees on the move throughout the afternoon.

In addition to tickets to the event, inn packages offered out-of-town visitors a number of other opportunities, including personal pies at the inn where they stayed, $50 in Midcoast Money, an exclusive tour of Audubon’s Project Puffin Center and the Maine Lighthouse Museum, and an invitation to a Wine and Pie Tasting at the Wine Seller the night before the parade.

On Jan. 26, innkeepers and participating restaurant owners gathered as a check for $9,000 was presented to members of the AIO Food Pantry Board of Directors.

Next year’s Pies on Parade will be held Jan. 23.

For more information about Historic Inns of Rockland, visit the Web site at historicinnsofrockland.com. To learn more about AIO, call 596-1043.