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Entries piling in for Carroll Arts Center's 5th annual Peep Show

Bob Nobles, 16, of New Windsor, turns in his PEEP artwork to Sandy Oxx, director of the Carroll County Art Council on Monday for the Council's Spring fund raiser.
Bob Nobles, 16, of New Windsor, turns in his PEEP artwork to Sandy Oxx, director of the Carroll County Art Council on Monday for the Council's Spring fund raiser. (KEN KOONS/STAFF PHOTO, Carroll County Times)

Bob Nobles, 16, loves getting involved with the Peep Show at Carroll Arts Center in any way that he can.

Last year, that meant holding the title of "Head Peep" by donning a Peep costume and taking pictures with the crowd outside who were waiting to get into the popular event.

This year, Nobles, of New Windsor, is entering his project titled "The Wrong Bird for Easter," which is a peacock made of Peeps, after working on it for a month.

"I like the creativity of this show and being able to show it to others," Nobles said. "It's really fun being involved."

Nobles' entry is one of more than 200 that Sandy Oxx, executive director for the Carroll County Arts Council, is expecting to get before the 5th annual show kicks off today and runs until April 15.

Last year, 9,000 people came to see the Peeps, 17,000 Peeps were used in the entries and about $18,000 was raised for the arts center during the 10-day event inspired by the Washington Post's Peeps Diorama Contest, Oxx said.

She said it's the most popular event at the center.

"I always think the good ideas are all gone, but new great ideas come each year," Oxx said. "Everyone has a Peep story, whether you're Catholic or Jewish, old or young, like them or hate them and I think that's why so many people love being a part of this."

People can buy chips to use to vote for different entries, Oxx said. Top winners get trophies adorned with a Peep, while others get awards for more specific categories such as best play on words.

The center also sells various Peep-related merchandise such as jewelry, pins, magnets and bumper stickers with phrases such as, "Hanging with my Peeps."

Tabetha White, theater coordinator at the center, said the show has been successful in getting lots of people interested in art.

"This really makes art accessible," White said. "So many people try to bring their kids to museums but those can be boring for them. Here art is fun and enjoyable."

David Thompson stopped by the center Monday to drop off "Kung Fu Peep," which he had worked on with his two daughters and their neighbors.

Thompson and his daughters Kaitlyn, 11, and Rebecca, 9, along with their neighbors Maddi Bruno and Anna Leinhart, both 11, spent between 16 and 20 hours on their project, which was inspired by the girls' love for the movie and TV show, "Kung Fu Panda."

The project took longer than expected since the group couldn't find white and black Peeps to make Po, the panda featured in the TV show and movie, so they instead had to use spray paint, Thompson said.

"It took a while, but the girls really enjoyed seeing the progression of it," Thompson said. "The girls like Peeps and they're all very creative and willing to do art projects so this was a great project for them."

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