These Cakes of Stony Bottom, Pocahontas County, was the winner of the Takes the Cake Grand Champion Vendor. Shown above are Mrs. WV Cupcake Stormie Weekly, Miss WV Cupcake Bridgette Altizer, Monica Rouster of These Cakes, Teen Miss Cupcake Mattie Van Dale, Pre-Teen Miss Cupcake Kayleigh Johnson, and Ms. Cupcake Jami Crawford. (Photo by Betsy Allen)
The West Virginia Cupcake Festival was held this past weekend at Valley Park in Hurricane, bringing cupcake fans of all ages out to the park to enjoy two days of confectionary-related fun and activities.
Although the Cupcake Festival has been a regular event at Valley Park since 2014, some in the community are unaware of the festival’s existence and the cause that it supports. The festival was created by a group of volunteers to serve as a fundraiser to raise money for local charitable organizations. The cupcake theme was chosen for its uniqueness and appeal to a wide audience. After all, who doesn’t appreciate a good cupcake?
Every year, 100% of the festival proceeds are donated to a chosen charity. Proceeds from this year’s Cupcake Festival went to Backpack Buddies and Hoops Family Children’s Hospital in Huntington. Monies raised were split 25%/75%, with Hoops Hospital receiving $1,500, and Backpack Buddies receiving $3,500.
Backpack Buddies is a Putnam County-based organization that provides food for low-income families during the summer. During first Saturday in July, volunteers pack boxes with shelf stable food for free and reduced lunch students. This event is held at Teays Valley Nazarene, and all are welcome to volunteer.
The first Cupcake Festival was held on September 6, 2014. As the years passed, the festival became bigger and bigger, and was eventually expanded to a two-day event. The festival features a variety of events, such as pageants for children, teens and adults; a pageant for dogs; a 5K run/walk; a cruise-in; cupcake contests for both amateurs and professional bakers; costume contests; cupcake eating contests; cupcake-themed crafts for children; and much more. New this year was a photography and art exhibit and a cake decorating demonstration. In addition to all these events, this year’s festival also featured two different bands – Adam Parker & the Bourbon Cowboys on Friday, and Sixth Gear on Saturday – as well as two different clogging groups, the Southern Stompers and the Lincoln County Cloggers.
A variety of arts and crafts vendors set up shop both inside the conference center as well as on the grounds outside. Boy Scout Troop 68 of Cross Lanes had a BB range to teach children gun safety and how to use a firearm correctly. The Cpl. William B. Fulks Detachment of the Marine Corps League also had a booth at the event and sold water to attendees.
Winners of the Cupcake Chase 5K Run/Walk on Saturday included Samuel Dillon (1st Place Male), John Flora (2nd Place Male), Bradley Dunkle (3rd Place Male), Tommy Stull (4th Place Male), Jacob Koon (5th Place Male), Michele Monn (1st Place Female), Marnie Edwards (2nd Place Female), Jennifer Welker (3rd Place Female), Autumn Smith (4th Place Female) and Laura Guaschino (5th Place Female). The Best Overall Male Cupcake Decorator was Bradley Dunkle, and the Best Overall Female Cupcake Decorator was Jennifer Welker. The Most Cupcake Spirit Award went to Nicole Ketterman, and Candi Arthur won Best Decorated Cupcake.
A cupcake costume contest was held on Saturday, but there was only one entry: Grayson and Parker Christian, the sixteen-month-old twin sons of Brett and Haleigh Christian of Huntington.
Parker Hawkins of Cross Lanes won the cupcake eating contest. He was at the festival as one of the scouts representing Troop 68 of Cross Lanes.
The Amateur Cupcake Competition Best Tasting Winner was Lisa Reed of Charleston, and These Cakes of Stony Bottom, Pocahontas County, won the Takes the Cupcake Award for Best Tasting Vendor Cupcake. People’s Choice Cupcake Vendors were the students of Huntington High School’s ProStart cooking and restaurant management program with First Place; Christy’s Cupcake Creations with Second Place; and Mia’s Market Confections with Third Place.
For more information about the West Virginia Cupcake Festival, go to wvcupcakefestival.com or check out their Facebook page.