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Editorial: Gov. Hogan should visit Carroll PEEPs

The ninth annual PEEPshow at the Carroll Arts Center opens Friday, March 25, and over the course of the next two weeks, thousands of visitors will come to Westminster to see these carefully crafted confection creations. We invite Gov. Larry Hogan to be among them.

For the uninitiated, the PEEPshow is far more innocent fun than its provocatively clever name might suggest. People are invited to put together pieces of art — ranging from simple sculptures to stop-motion films — fashioned from and inspired by Just Born Inc.'s marshmallow Peeps candies, a popular treat likely to be found in many an Easter basket this Sunday.

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Since the event's humble inception in 2008, when Carroll Arts Council Executive Director Sandy Oxx was inspired by The Washington Post's Peeps diorama contest, the PEEPshow has grown into the No. 1 fundraiser for the Arts Council and gained national recognition.

Attendance has boomed the past couple of years, after Just Born became involved in the promotion of the event — the PEEPmobile, a yellow Volkswagen Beetle with a giant yellow chick attached to the top, will be in town Monday, by the way — and the Carroll County show was featured in an NBC Nightly News piece. Last year, more than 27,000 people visited and the Arts Council netted nearly $59,000 as a result. Admission to the PEEPshow is free, but once there, you can buy tokens to vote for your favorites, with all proceeds benefiting the Arts Council.

If you've never been, we encourage you to check it out, and if you've been before, go again, because it's different every year. The PEEPShow is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day through April 6.

While we know he's a busy guy, we think the PEEPshow is an excellent opportunity for Gov. Hogan to venture to Carroll County, which he's yet to visit since becoming the state's top elected official in January 2015. He's come close a few times, stopping in Howard County a few months back to announce funding for Md. 32, and just last week visiting neighboring Frederick County to visit some local businesses, rub elbows with fellow public officials and meet with constituents.

No county voted more favorably for Hogan in 2014 than Carroll, with 82 percent of votes in the governor's race cast for him and Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford, so we know there are plenty of constituents here who would love to shake his hand.

We'd also like him to get a firsthand look at the PEEPshow, which we think he'd applaud for its ingenuity in creating tourism dollars for a county that, let's be honest, isn't known as a tourist destination in Maryland. Maybe the Arts Council could even create a Governor's Choice Award this year for his favorite?

Perhaps while here he could also support some local businesses, maybe grabbing some breakfast at the JeannieBird Baking Co. down the street to hear its sad but inspiring story.

And we're sure there are some local politicians who would love to hear about Hogan's successes in the governor's office so far and what he plans to do for Carroll in the future, especially when it comes to school funding.

So c'mon governor, why don't you give Carroll County a Peep?

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