Voting. I'm not sure anyone likes the sound of that word after the recent roller coaster of a Presidential election. But once again, we must cast our votes to make sure our favorite wins ... because the 10th Annual PEEPshow is right around the corner!
This annual event will feature nearly 200 marshmallow masterpieces, and since casting a vote for just one favorite will be nearly impossible —we will sell you as many vote chips as you'd like! This is how a free event can still be a successful fundraiser for the Carroll County Arts Council. We call it "marshmallow magic." The proceeds from this event, which netted $51,000 last year, support our many cultural programs, including free summer movies, college art scholarships, the musical instrument bank, community arts grants, art exhibits, classes, camps, concerts, foreign films, documentaries and more. The costs of our many cultural programs are not completely covered by ticket sales, so fundraisers like the PEEPshow are essential.
The Arts Council isn't the only winner. In recent years, upward of 25,000 people have visited this event — many who are visiting Carroll County for the first time. They shop, dine and remember our county, and that is priceless.
The event is so spectacular that it has garnered national media attention including NBC Nightly News, Good Morning America, CNN and even People magazine. Every decorator throughout our 10-year history deserves credit for helping us achieve this notoriety. Many organizations have tried to replicate our event, but none have come close, according to the representatives at Just Born, the Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, company that makes the PEEPs. They consider us a respected ambassador for their brand and they are an important partner in this annual display.
This year we've added online voting so that people from throughout the country can enjoy these caloric creations and buy additional votes to help the Arts Council set new fundraising records. We will award trophies to those who receive the most in-person votes, the most online votes and the Grand Prize Winner will be determined by a combination of the two voting categories.
But it's not just about the votes. It's about families working around the dinner table to create something together. It's about providing a fun event for senior citizen groups to attend at no charge. It's about putting smiles on people's faces during tough times. It's about introducing the arts to people who have never set foot in an art gallery. It's about bringing customers to our neighboring shops and restaurants. It's about celebrating the sweetness of Carroll County.
Join us for the 10th Annual PEEPshow at the Carroll Arts Center in the heart of downtown Westminster. The event runs April 7 through 19 and is open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily with the last admission at 6:30 p.m. Admission is free. Always.
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Sandy Oxx is the executive director of the Carroll County Arts Council. Reach her at email@example.com.