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PEEPshow an event for the whole family, no matter how old

Sights and sounds from the 11th annual PEEPshow at the Carroll County Arts Council in Westminster.

Abby Feintuch stood with her 19-month-old daughter, Laney, in her arms as they looked at Peeps versions of Pua and Hei Hei from the film “Moana.”

Laney excitedly pointed at the sculpture, smiling at the pig with the chicken on its head.

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Feintuch, of Westminster, said it was their first year coming to the 11th annual PEEPshow at the Carroll Arts Center in Westminster.

“We didn’t want to miss it this year,” she said, adding that they had planned to come last year and weren’t able to. “I like the creativity and the appeal to the kids.”

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The PEEPshow opened Thursday and runs through Tuesday, April 10 this year. The Arts Center is open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sundays to Thursdays and 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Admission is free and attendees can pay to vote for their favorite entries. Online voting is also welcome at www.CarrollCountyArtsCouncil.org.

Feintuch, who came out to the event Saturday afternoon, said she likes that people can come in and vote for their favorite entry. She said she didn’t know what to expect in attending the PEEPshow, but was glad she could enjoy it with her daughter and her family who were in town visiting.

“It’s nice to be able to share … a local experience with our family,” she added.

For the event, the Arts Center is filled with more than 140 sculptures, displays and dioramas made of Peeps. In the lobby event-goers can buy snacks and a number of Peeps-themed merchandise, from cups to hats to socks.

And while for some this year was their first chance to see all the PEEPshow has to offer, others have been attending the event for years.

Last year, artist Vivian Davis spent many cold afternoons in her garage creating an 8.5-foot sugary sculpture for Carroll County Arts Council’s PEEPshow. She won the grand prize award. The 11th annual PEEPshow will be held Thursday, March 29, through Tuesday, April 10.

Debbie DePalmer, of Glen Rock, Pa., stood in the Arts Center decked out in Peeps gear. She wore a Peeps shirt and even had Peeps earrings.

“We have been coming every year,” DePalmer said, adding that it’s been a tradition for five or six years now. “I just love to see the artwork.”

It is always so amazing to see what people can make out of Peeps, she said. Often, she added, you’d never know the displays were created with the food until you get up close.

The ability to be something both kids and adults can enjoy is what makes the PEEPshow special, Carroll County Arts Council Executive Director Sandy Oxx said.

“I love the fact that 2-year-olds and 92-year-olds can get something out of it,” she said, adding that the event appeals to every age.

Attendance so far has been great, she said, and on Friday, it was “off the charts.”

For Oxx, this year’s show is “bittersweet,” because it’s her last before she leaves the Arts Center in June. Oxx said this event wouldn’t be possible without the volunteers, and she hopes to see it continue once she’s gone.

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“I really want this community to keep this going. It’s something to be proud of,” Oxx added.

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