With a Kindle Fire on the line, kids will get the chance to show off their cupcake decorating skills as a part of the Elkhart Public Library’s first-ever Cupcake Wars.
Children between the ages of 10 and 14 will compete at 3 p.m. Tuesday, July 11, in the lower level of the downtown library. Participants will get a decorating station, their choice of decorating supplies, and the opportunity to use their imagination. (Currently, the library is accepting contestants on the waiting list.)
Carmen Ritchie, a member of the Young People’s Services, wants kids to get excited about this event.
“It’s going to be fun and unique,” she says, “and they get to eat cupcakes – who doesn’t look forward to that?”
Twelve kids will start with already baked cupcakes, provided by Adam’s Cake Shop, and compete in three different rounds. The decorating supplies will be purchased witha grant from Friends of the Elkhart Public Library and a donated gift card from Martin’s Super Markets.
Each round has a different theme: “Build a Better World” (this year’s summer reading theme), “Favorite Book,” and “Decorator’s Choice.” The winner of the competition will be judged on how well the cupcakes are decorated according to the themes, and that child will receive a Kindle Fire.
“We wanted to bring something new and unique to the table,” Ritchie says. “Cupcake Wars is a program that has been successfully done by other libraries, so we’re hoping we have the same luck.”
The judges for the contest are Adam Harrison (Adam’s Cake Shop), Margarita McClain (culinary arts instructor with the Elkhart Area Career Center), and Marshall King (local food writer). Chosen because of their involvement in food-related careers, these judges all are local residents. They will decide the winner, but they also will be walking around, observing and offering help when needed.
The emcee for the event is Brittney Baily, an on-air DJ with B100. “She is a very kind, giving person and very bubbly,” Ritchie says. “The kids will love her!”
While the winner gets the prize, Ritchie hopes the heat of competition to take away from the fun of the event.
“I want the kids to work to win, but I don’t want them to think about only that,” she says. “I want it to be fun and educational, not just about winning.”
In order to make sure that happens, Carmen is making sure that no kid goes home empty-handed, win or lose. Each participant will get to take home the apron and chef’s hat they receive for the competition, along with the cupcakes they’ve decorated.
But this event is for more people than just those decorating cupcakes. A photo booth will be available, and audience members will be able to encourage and cheer on the decorators.
Due to space restrictions, registration is limited for this first local Cupcake Wars. Contestants should inform librarians of any food allergies upon arrival.