The seventh annual Gardiner Cupcake Festival will be held this Saturday, May 16 from noon to 6 p.m. in the orchard at Wright’s Farm on Route 208 in Gardiner. Admission is free and there’s plenty of parking at the 453-acre site.
Billed by its organizers as “the sweetest day of the year” — hard to argue that with more than 30,000 cupcakes on hand — the festival also offers plenty of savory treats, as well. Adults will find wine and spirits tastings to enjoy and food vendors will make it hard to choose between offerings that include the grass-fed beef burgers served up by Gardiner’s Brookside Farms with their signature sauce and gourmet offerings from new vendor Tuthill House at the Mill.
The day starts off with the third annual 5K Cupcake Classic. (In other words, burn off some calories first and then enjoy.) Registration for the event is from 9-10 a.m. The race through the hilly orchard against a backdrop of the beautiful Shawangunk Ridge begins at 10:45 a.m. Register online through Friday, May 15 or at the event on the day of the race; the cost is $30.
The Cupcake Festival kicks off at noon with live music acts that will include the returning Spillway Band and Black Mountain Symphony.
Children’s activities will include face painting, pony rides, five bouncy houses and more. New to the festival this year will be a human foosball game put together by Gardiner councilman John Hinson. Businesses sponsor a team and all of the proceeds benefit the Gardiner and Shawangunk fire departments. As of press time there were 20 teams already signed up to play.
And of course, there will be cupcakes. Portable and delicious, cupcakes from a number of bakeries in the area will offer every variety imaginable, including vegan and gluten-free versions. New this year to the list will be Tuthill House at the Mill, joining old favorites Wright’s Farm, Deising’s Bakery, Kokopelli Cookie Co., Eat This! Bakery, Peace, Love and Cupcakes from Woodstock, Mid-Hudson Cakes, For the Love of Cupcakes, Get Frosted Cupcakery, Kupcake Kouture, Periwinkles at Rhinebeck and Ms. Vee’s Sweet Treat.
The cupcake contest for amateur bakers will offer competition for homemade creations in one of four categories this year: Best Tasting, Best Cocktail/Beer Inspired, Best Decorated and Best Use of Multiple Cupcakes to Create a Design. The cost to enter is $10 per category, one entry per person per category, cash or money order only. Cupcake check-in is from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the festival, with winners announced and trophies awarded around 2 p.m. Rules and the registration form are available on the festival website. Cupcakes baked for the contest aren’t available for purchase.
The festival also features a number of craft vendors who will offer a range of merchandise from soy candles, frames, beauty products and jewelry to dog treats, cutlery and knives.
Wright’s Farm is located at 699 Route 208 in Gardiner. More information is available at www.gardinercupcakefestival.com or on Facebook.