The eighth annual Gardiner Cupcake Festival will be held on Saturday, May 14, rain or shine, from 12 noon to 6 p.m. Cupcakes from more than a dozen bakeries in the area will be available in a head-spinning array of flavors to choose from, including vegan and gluten-free versions. The spacious 453 acres of Wright’s Farm on Route 208 in Gardiner drew an estimated 10,000-plus visitors last year. This year, the farm will also host a full schedule of local bands, wine- and spirit-tastings, a kid zone and several food trucks.
The day will begin with the fourth annual 5K Cupcake Classic run. The course takes runners on gravel farm roads and grassland through apple and peach orchards against a backdrop of the Shawangunk Mountains. Walkers are welcome on the course, with or without a stroller, and friendly dogs can join in (but only if on a leash). The entry fee is $30, and all participants get a cupcake at the finish line.
After the 5K, the Festival begins. Participating cupcake vendors, as of presstime, include a few new participants and some returning favorites. Look for Whipped Cupcakes (in their retro food truck), Simply Sasa’s, Deising’s Bakery, the KokoPelli Cookie Co., Eat This! Bakery, Peace Love and Cupcakes, Mid-Hudson Cakes, For the Love of Cupcakes, Sinfully SWEET Desserts, Mimmy’s Mini Cakes & More, Cake Heights, Kupcake Kouture, Periwinkle’s at Rhinebeck and, of course, Wright’s Farm itself. Flavors available will range from the classic red velvet and double-chocolate varieties to the more unusual: maple bacon, vanilla rosewater and potato chip cupcakes.
The cupcake contest for amateur bakers offers some new categories this year for competitors. Winning entries will be chosen by taste in the categories of Best-Tasting Chocolate Cupcake and Best Candy Bar-Inspired Cupcake, but appearance will count more for homemade creations judged Best Animal-Decorated Cupcake and Best Star Wars-Themed Cupcake. (The latter two can incorporate multiple cupcakes in the design.) The cost to enter the competition is $10 per category (cash or money order only), with a limit of one entry per person per category. Cupcake check-in on Festival day is from 11 a.m. to 12 noon, with winners announced and cash prizes 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, by the way.
Wright’s Farm is located at 699 Route 208 in Gardiner. There is plenty of parking on-site. More information is available at www.gardinercupcakefestival.com.