Gillette Cupcake Wars
The “Dr. Seuss” table prepared for a past “Cupcake Wars” competition to showcase the caramel latte cupcakes of Eurana Altizer and Jessica Howard. This year’s battle of the bakers will be held from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at the Campbell County Public Library in Gillette. (Photo courtesy of the Campbell County Public Library)

Bakers battle in Gillette’s ‘Cupcake Wars’

By Cowboy State Daily

A battle of the bakers will take center stage this weekend as the Campbell County Public Library hosts its eighth annual “Cupcake Wars.”

More than 200 people are expected to visit the library Saturday to take part in the event, a fundraiser for the Campbell County Library Foundation and the final event in the library’s celebration of National Library Week.

There, they will sample cupcakes decorated according to each baker’s selected theme, such as the “Johnny Appleseed” cupcake entry (featuring apple pie cupcakes) or the “Elvis” cupcake seen in the past — featuring peanut butter and bananas.

“It’s really fun because people create their cupcakes and they also have a theme that they decorate their tables with,” said Genevieve Schlekeway, the library’s adult program coordinator. “It turns out to be a lot of work, too. We have 200-plus people come through the doors and people have to make a lot of cupcakes.”

The event began eight years ago as a way to raise matching funds for a state endowment program. Schlekeway said it was one of several events created to chase away the winter doldrums.

“It was the brainchild of someone working with the foundation,” she said. “She had a whole vision of ‘cabin fever relievers,’ a whole series of events. The Cupcake Wars is the one that hung around.”

Fourteen competitors will bring their baked and decorated cupcakes to the library, where they will spend most of a day decorating the 8-foot tables that will display their wares. 

“Some of (the tables) are very elegant and very elaborate,” Schlekeway said. “And some of the people come in costume.”

In addition to the “Elvis” themed cupcakes and table, past entries have included a 1950s “soda shop” theme, she said.The cupcakes will be judged by a panel including a local chef, a “junior” judge and three members of the library’s board of directors. Prizes will be awarded in three categories, a junior division for those under 18, an amateur division and an “experienced” division — for those who sell cupcakes.

The contest will also feature a “people’s choice” award determined in voting by the visitors who pay $5 each to sample the cupcakes.

Attendees at the event, to run from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, will also enjoy some entertainment from the Gillette Guitar Guild as they taste the cupcakes.

Money raised by the event will go to the foundation, which provides support for the library, such as bringing in authors to speak, providing continuing education classes and sponsoring fine art displays.

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