The Times photo by Betsy Reason
Abigail Dager, 11, Fishers (from left), Claire Zetterberg, 11, Noblesville, and Michelle Workman, 13, Noblesville, inspired by Olaf from “Frozen,” make a presentation about their Disney-themed decorated cupcakes to judge Jackie Humphrey (far left) during kids’ Cupcake Wars at Hamilton East Public Library in Noblesville.
The Times photo by Betsy Reason Abigail Dager, 11, Fishers (from left), Claire Zetterberg, 11, Noblesville, and Michelle Workman, 13, Noblesville, inspired by Olaf from “Frozen,” make a presentation about their Disney-themed decorated cupcakes to judge Jackie Humphrey (far left) during kids’ Cupcake Wars at Hamilton East Public Library in Noblesville.
Just as soon as my daughter turned 5, she was eligible to apply for a library card.
Since then, we’ve enjoyed the many amenities of Hamilton East Public Library, from checking out books, to participating in programs and attending events.
We’ve also watched the library evolve from a place to find only books, audio and video to a venue for wonderful programs and unique events for children as well as adults.
Every time we go to the library, we pick up a flyer of an interesting happening that we want to put on our calendars.
In January, it was the library’s Cupcake Wars that attracted my now 11-year-old’s attention.
Kids grades 5-8 took their places standing at the white rectangular tables, where a cupcake was placed in front of each child.
Like the reality competition show by the same name on cable’s Food Network, every competitor was required to use one “secret ingredient,” that was unveiled right before the timer began.
In the reality show, bakers are required to create unique and professional-style cupcakes elated to a theme, with four contestants who are eliminated one-by-one, in three rounds, with the winning team receiving $10,000.
At the library program, kids did no baking. And they weren’t eliminated. Nor did anyone receive $10,000.
Each child competitor was on a team made up of two or three kids. Each child decorated one cupcake, using both a theme -- which on this particular night was ‘Disney’” -- and a secret ingredient was required, “just like the show.”
That secret ingredient was “pretzels.”
The kids listened as the rules were announced. “You have to use pretzels in your cupcake decorations,” said Jackie Humphrey, youth services staff member, who led the program. “You can break them, you can crush them, you can leave them whole, whatever you want. But they have to be on your cupcake.”
All of the cupcake decorations -- from food coloring to marshmallows and gummy bears to Skittles -- were supplied by the library and placed on long tables in the middle of the room. The library also provided colored markers, plates, paper, ribbon and glue, for each child to use to make a presentation with his or her cupcake.
“Is everybody ready?” Humphrey asked.
Competitors would then have a 40-minute time limit to decorate their cupcakes.
At the end, each child made a presentation for the judges, who were library employees. Judging was based on creativity, how well the theme was carried out, and overall presentation.
The Cupcake Wars’ winning team was for the “Jungle Book” theme, earning the judges’ nod for use of color, materials and “the best use of pretzels,” and “their theme was really fun.” Those first-place winners were Andrew Ingram and Nolan Campbell of Noblesville. Second place went to “Toy Story”-themed cupcakes, decorated by Marisha Woehler, Izzy Saunders and Lyrric Barnett of Noblesville. Third place went to “Cinderella”-themed cupcakes by Addie Cooley, Natalie Jasper and Addison McMillan.
The program was free to the nearly 30 kids, including those who signed up in advance and others on a waitlist at the door.
More upcoming kids’ programs at the library include American Girl Club on Feb. 5, Cocoa & Crafts on Feb. 8, and Coding with Ozobots on Feb. 27; and all require advance registration. VIsit https://hepl.lib.in.us/
Read more about how our local library continues to serve our community and about our library’s current construction project in an upcoming edition of The Times.
-Contact Betsy Reason at betsy@thetimes24-7.com.