by Rochelle Riservato
The yummy-to-the-tummy fifth annual Gardiner Cupcake Festival is once more bringing the sweetest treats to the Hudson Valley. Planned this year for Saturday, May 18 from 12 to 6pm, this free rain-or-shine happening was initially started by the Gardiner Association of Businesses to bring folks to the town for festivities, fun, frolic and, of course, cupcakes!
The business association decided not to hold the festival again in 2012. When Tammy Boylan, one of the owners of Wright’s Farm, heard this she became determined to keep the ever-growing success and popularity of the event alive.
Tammy said, “Because this was such a well-loved event, I decided to hold it on my family’s farm for the festival’s fourth year. We have 500 acres, and it’s more easily accessible and has more than ample parking—plus it’s near the town of Gardiner, which offers many unique shops and eclectic ambience to visitors and residents alike.”
Last year’s festival featured a “Baker’s Dozen” (13) of local bakers who came with tens of thousands of cupcakes. Sweet! This year, there’s so much more for the entire family with a diversity of children’s activities such as face-painters, hair-braiders, pony rides, children’s books, a make-your-own cupcake booth, and some special surprises, yet to be announced—in addition to local food vendors and a few renowned Hudson Valley wineries for adult wine tasting and buying. What’s more…all this is blended like a fine recipe with the festive atmosphere of live bands providing music for dancing and listening.
One really popular competition that doesn’t need any arm-twisting to sign up entrants is the cupcake-eating contest—where one can see happy faces laden with tasty frostings and fillings galore in a gorging quest to win. Plus, the ever-popular cupcake contest has amateur cupcake bakers from around the Valley bringing their finest sweet treats to be judged.
Among the festival’s regulars is Kingston’s famous Deising’s Bakery. Owner Eric Deising stated that although it was hard work for the staff they sold up to 2,000 cupcakes at last year’s event.
Janice Hardgrove, owner of another festival regular called Peace, Love & Cupcakes, located in Woodstock, said, “Last year’s event was great fun; we’re so happy to be coming back again this year with lots of delicious cupcakes. We’re bringing along our Food Network award-winning chocolate cupcakes that I call ‘The Winner,’ as well as or famed musically inspired cupcakes named after our Woodstock musicians, such as the Bob Dylan or the Jimi Hendrix. Hardgrove said her shop also carries gluten-free, vegan and raw cupcake selections.
Although the festival festivities and parking remains free for 2013, Tammy Boylan said that they will gratefully welcome donations of any amount in order to donate the proceeds to a local organization or cause (TBD).
Wright’s Farm is located at 699 Route 208 in Gardiner. For more information, visit facebook.com/gardinercupcakefestival or email Tammy Boylan at firstname.lastname@example.org.