Traverse City Record-Eagle

October 31, 2013

Festival showcases regional cake artists

BY MARTA HEPLER DRAHOS mdrahos@record-eagle.com
Traverse City Record-Eagle

---- — TRAVERSE CITY — Sonya Sayler didn’t have to think about her entry in an upcoming celebrity cake decorating competition.

“I would, of course, include cherries as decorations, with maybe a red velvet cake to match the cherries,” said Sayler, 2013-14 National Cherry Queen, and a member of the Sayler Orchards family of Williamsburg.

The competition is expected to be a top draw at this year’s Festival of Cakes, from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday at the Park Place Dome. The third annual event features a garden theme and is a fundraiser organized by local service organization Quota International of Traverse City.

“People like it because it’s a family friendly event,” said Lisa Kent, festival chairman. “They like to see the cakes, it’s something different. And it’s something all ages can participate in.”

Regional cake artists will showcase their talents in eight different divisions, including Professional Decorating; Professional Tasting; Advanced, Intermediate and Beginner Decorating; Sugar; Teen and Junior. Kent said the sugar division was added this year for baked and decorated goodies that fall outside the realm of cakes, such as cupcakes, cookies and cake pops.

Attendees can watch cake decorating professional Debbie Gibson adorn a cake from start to finish, participate in an old-fashioned cake walk, and sample five different cakes — with Moomer’s ice cream — and vote for their favorite in the tasting competition. That’s all in addition to ogling the competition entries.

The competition is open to area restaurants like Yankee Boy in South Boardman, which will enter its signature carrot cake, Kent said.

Attendees also can bid on cakes in the celebrity decorating competition, featuring Sayler, WTCM-AM’s Norm Jones, Traverse Bay Children’s Advocacy Center’s Brook Neetz and Grand Traverse Metro Fire Department’s Meredith Hawes.

Door prizes, face painting and a silent auction. Bidders can vie for items including a wine tour and tasting for six at Chateau Chantal, round out the event.

Sayler grew up watching her mother and grandmother bake cakes and often helped mix the ingredients. Now, “I enjoy eating them,” she said, adding that she watches her weight by getting plenty of exercise.

Festival tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for children 12 and younger and $25 for families (two adults, two children) at Sugarkissed and Simply Cupcakes on Front Street, online at www.festivalofcakes.com and at the door.

Proceeds will benefit the Grand Traverse Metro Customized Outreach Program for the deaf and hard of hearing and the Traverse Bay Children’s Advocacy Center.

For more information, visit www.facebook.com/festivalofcakes or www.festivalofcakes.com, email quotatraversecity@gmail.com or call 313-9076.