Eloise Marsh scampered from one exhibit to the next, eager to see what creations had been made from the same kind of Peeps she had found in her Easter basket earlier in the day.
"I had a Peep for breakfast," said Marsh, 4, of Silver Spring. "But I had healthy things too."
Marsh joined her aunt, Heather Wilson, and her grandmother, Connie Wilson, at the eighth annual PEEPshow sponsored by the Carroll County Arts Council. The show, which features sculptures constructed of the iconic Easter time marshmallow candies called Peeps, opened March 27 at the Carroll County Arts Center in Westminster and has since drawn crowds each day. The exhibit has become an Easter tradition for many families.
Mara Becker, of Westminster, said she has been attending the PEEPshow since its first year.
"I like the variety of the entries," Becker said. "You always hear someone laughing."
Joy and Bob Ebaugh, of Reisterstown, meanwhile plan to make it a tradition.
"This is just wonderful," said Joy Ebaugh. "I'm so impressed by the details. I love how they coordinate the titles with the exhibits."
Katie Baker, of the Nathan Chris Baker Foundation, said it took six hours to complete her entry "Sliding Into Greatness." The slide represents Baker's non-profit foundation, which builds playgrounds in the area.
"I brought my sister and the kids to check it out," said Baker. "It's made of over 2,000 Peeps donated by the community."
Carolanne Holniker, of Westminster, constructed a Peep beehive over several months.
"I had to really think about how I was going to do it," Holniker said. "I did it because I'm passionate about people learning about the honeybee. It's a great way to get the word out."
Sandy Oxx, Carroll County Arts Council's executive director, anticipates 30,000 people will have attended the show by the close of the event. Admission is free and participants are encouraged to buy votes for their favorite creations. Oxx said votes purchased will help provide free musical instruments to local students. The creators with the most votes will win Peeps themed prize packs, courtesy of Just Born, Inc., the company that makes the marshmallow candies.
Oxx said the event has raised over $50,000, including food, merchandise and vote chip sales.
"We had no idea we'd have crowds like this," Oxx said.
The show continues until closing ceremonies at 6:30 p.m. Monday. Winners and the total amount of money raised will be announced Tuesday afternoon. The event has been featured nationally in Time, People, USA Today, Huffington Post, and Cosmopolitan.