Every year on March 14, the world commemorates the mathematical constant known as pi. The holiday allows people to celebrate the infinite number, normally by eating pie.
Founded in 1988 by physicist Larry Shaw, March 14 was chosen as Pi Day because of the numerical date (3.14). This date represents the first three digits of pi. Mathematicians and math lovers have for centuries celebrated pi, but the holiday didn’t become popular with the general public until the 21st century.
The day will be celebrated in many ways locally, on Eastern Michigan University’s campus, and in the Ypsilanti community.
From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday, EMU’s Campus Life will give away free pizza vouchers for the Little Caesars food truck outside Pray-Harrold.
“I believe Pi Day is a good opportunity for people to truly think about how important it is to have math – to have an appreciation for the subject and recognize how it relates to our everyday living,” Sara Bamrick, coordinator of engagement and activities for Campus Life, said. “It’s very beneficial to us, it literally constructs and builds the world around you.”
Last year, the campus organization got boxes of pizza and gave students free slices. This year, they wanted to collaborate with the Little Caesars truck, allowing students to grab their “hot and ready" pizzas and a drink.
Venturing outside of campus, the city of Ypsilanti is also having Pi Day celebrations.
Ypsilanti’s Meals on Wheels is joining the Pi Day celebration with their annual Pint and Pie event Tuesday from 12-9 p.m. It's an all-day event where, for just $14, supporters can enjoy a slice of pie or other delicious treats, along with a beverage of their choosing.
The options range from sweet to savory, including gluten-free and dairy-free options.
“For each slice and pint we sell, YMOW takes enough home to provide two nutritious meals to a local senior,” Dannielle Murphy, Ypsilanti Meals on Wheels team member, said. “All of our delicious treats were donated by local bakeries including Zingermans, Ypsi Co-Op, Terry Bakery, Rumi's Passion, and Czechbox Bakery. We are very excited to be back at the Corner Brewery!”
Ypsilanti Meals on Wheels provides nutritious meals, social contact, and other services to the homebound elderly, ill, and disabled in Washtenaw County. This allows them to enjoy healthier, safer, and more independent lives. Their vision is to build a community where every senior feels nourished, valued, and supported. The organization has held many Pie and Pint events over the years, but they’ve added something new this year.
“This year, we’ve added something new to our Pie and Pint activities,” Murphy said. “A Dungeons & Dragons game with a quest tied to YMOW's mission to get essential supplies to those in need.”
The game starts at 6 p.m. and will be live-streamed on YouTube (@ypsilantimealsonwheels2666) and the event website.
Audience members online and at the Corner Brewery can play along by making donations to influence the players' path in the game. Players can boost their heroes in challenges and even aid the bad guys to complicate the hero's mission. The game features well-known local personalities like Angel Vanas of Star Studio and Mike Patino of the Tipsy Ypsi Paint Studio.
Murphy and the YMOW staff encourage the public and EMU students to celebrate and support a good cause on Pi Day.
“EMU has found a lot of ways to support YMOW over the years, and we always welcome EMU students for volunteer opportunities and internships," Murphy said. “When you throw in pie, a chance to make a positive impact on your neighbors, and a chance to have a little fun in the process, I think that's a good reason for anyone to attend.”
The Eastern Echo welcomes thoughtful discussion on all of our stories, but please keep comments civil and on-topic. Read our full guidelines here.