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Nine entered in Nescatunga Arts Festival Sugar Show June 3; Three Hands-on Workshops Set

Updated: May 31, 2023


Items above are created by Katie Perks, Savannah Smith, Chloe Lehr and Lawson Ream.


Nine competitors have registered so far for the Second Annual Nescatunga Arts Festival Sugar Show that will take place on Saturday, June 3, in the Northwestern Oklahoma State University Health and Sports Science Education Commons area.

Contestants must have their table display set up and ready for judging by 8:45 a.m. Judging will begin at 9 a.m. The show will be open to public viewing at approximately 10:30 a.m.

An awards ceremony will take place at approximately 11:30 a.m. Prizes will include first places in all divisions. A Best of Show award is being sponsored by BancCentral, and a People’s Choice Award is sponsored by Alva State Bank.

Three hands-on workshops open to the public are also being planned following the contest starting at 1, 2 and 3 p.m. in Northwestern’s Science Amphitheatre, just north of Percefull Fieldhouse.

At 1 p.m. will be a cookie decorating workshop for aspiring adults of three summer-themed cookies – a flamingo, watermelon and hibiscus flower - led by Autry Technology Center in Enid instructor Lisa Hills open to 15 people. At 2 p.m., a cookie decorating workshop for children will be led by Burlington sugar artist Tamre McGinnis and open to 10 people. The last workshop of the day will be at 3 p.m. and will be cake decorating for aspiring adults using fondant to create a cute cow cake, led by Ridgway open to 10 people.

These workshops will provide everything needed to decorate the participants’ cookies and cakes and take them home along with a little goodie bag of items and a laminated recipe card for the cookies and icing.

Each workshop is $10 and is first come/first paid. Those wishing to attend the workshops should contact April Ridgway at (580) 917-0101 or maxandapril@hotmail.com.

Contestants of all skill levels have been welcomed to compete in the Sugar Show including Professional Sugar Show Artists who have refined skills or may decorate cakes, cookies and cupcakes for a living. There is also a category for Aspiring Sugar Show Artists with intermediate skills, and a category for students.

Professionals may enter four categories: Decorated Cake/Sugar Art in both a non-edible version using “dummy” cakes or an edible decorated cake, decorated cookies and decorated cupcakes.

Aspiring Artists and Students may enter edible decorated cakes, cookies and cupcakes.

Cookies and cupcakes must have a display of one dozen items.

Only one entry per category.

The competitors entered currently include the following:

Kasey Chaffin, Professional, Alva

Kasey Chaffin took part in the inaugural Sugar Show last year and is back again this year entered in two categories: Edible Cake with “A Head Above,” and Cupcakes with “Bits and Pieces.”

Katie Perks, Professional, Alva

Katie Perks has entered all four of the Sugar Show categories and is a repeat contestant from last year. The non-edible entry is a three-tier round dummy cake decorated with fondant and fondant/gum paste decorations and edible sugar accents titled “Into the Woods.” The edible cake entry is a two-tiered cake decorated with buttercream icing and minimal fondant accents. It is a 3D carved cake titled “Party Time.” Her decorated cookies are vanilla sugar cookies with royal icing titled “Woodland Wonderland.” The decorated cupcakes are titled “The Magical Forest” and will be butter pecan flavored with a variety of edible sugar frostings.

Perks started decorating cakes at the Homeland bakery in Alva when she was 19 and attending NWOSU. She established her in-home bakery of Wicked Whisk Bakehouse in 2013 and has grown her business to a separate workspace at her home. She actually made the leap into competition decorating in 2010 at the Oklahoma State Sugar Art Show during the Tulsa State Fair by entering cakes and other sugar art until the competition ended in 2018. Her last entry can be seen on the Food Network special “Queen of Cakes, The Final Competition,” and four of her cakes have been featured in “Cake Central Magazine.”

She said she isn’t a full-time sugar artist yet, as she has worked at the Woods County Farm Bureau for more than 20 years.

Savannah Smith, Professional, Waynoka

Savannah Smith is a home baker at Nannie’s Cookies. She is a draftsman by day and baker at night as well as a mom and wife. She is entered in the decorated cookies category with a floral and butterfly theme. She started decorating sugar cookies as a hobby in January 2019, and now offers a wide variety of baked goods, specializing in decorated sugar cookies and sheet cakes. She also will have a Craft Food booth set up to sell some of the cookies she makes including sugar cookies, chocolate chip, M&M, brownies, oatmeal raisin and more, as well as Paint Your Own cookies.

Jennifer Jones, Aspiring, Alva

Jennifer Jones also is joining the Sugar Show for the second season. She has entered the Cookies category with “Buckle Up!” The cookies will be salted caramel sugar cookies with a belt buckle and turquoise theme. She said that her full-time job has her tied to a computer and desk, so her hobby of working in sugar art is a nice change. She said she is still learning, and it’s not as easy as it looks, but she loves the challenge.

Amanda Metcalf, Aspiring, Enid

Amanda Metcalf entered as a student last year. This year she has entered the cupcakes category with “Pie-cture Perfect.” Her cupcakes will be based on different pie flavors including lemon, blueberry and cherry. She also will have a fine arts and crafts booth displaying paintings, drawings and photographs, as well as pictures painted on wood and glass frames. She recently graduated from the University of Central Oklahoma with a Bachelor of Arts in music. She has been a sugar artist since her days as a member of the NWOSU Art Society and baking cookies and cupcakes for the club’s goodie giveaway fundraisers.

Chelsa Shippen, Aspiring, Anthony, Kansas

Chelsa Shippen, owner of the home-based business CJ and K’s Creations, has entered the edible cake category with “Party till the Cows Come Home.” This will be a five-tiered cookies and cream sponge with a cherry compote filling and vanilla icing. The bottom tier will be half sunset/sunrise with farm silhouettes and half stars and stripes. The second tier will be cherry pie; the third tier is a handkerchief/paisley; the fourth tier is a sunflower and wheat-filled basket; the fifth tier is popcorn with a few cows and balloons sporadically placed on the cake.

Shippen said she always tried to create sculpted cakes for each of her three kids of which all are adults now with the youngest leaving for college soon. About 12 years ago she made a Marilyn Monroe-themed cake with less than 12 hours’ notice for her best friend eventually launching her home-based baking business. Between cakes and finding time to sleep, she also works 40-plus hours a week as a night-shift LPN for nearly 20 years currently working in long-term care.

Chloe Lehr, Student, Alva

Chloe Lehr is an elementary education major at NWOSU and loves to bake in her free time. She has entered both the edible cake and cupcakes categories. She plans to create a cake using a Candy Land theme. The cake will be a two-layered vanilla cake, with vanilla buttercream frosting and various bright, colored décor and sweets. Her cupcakes are titled “Sweet Summer!” and will show all things summer including cold ice cream, watermelon, lemonade, popsicles and more using multiple cake flavors with vanilla buttercream frosting and various décor. She also will have a craft booth selling painted door and wall signs, textured art, ornaments, felt coasters and more.

Lawson Ream, Student, Alva

Lawson Ream is 9 years old and will be a fourth grader at Lincoln Elementary in the fall. She is entering the cupcakes category with “Cupcake Flowers.” She just competed in her first cupcake baking/decorating contest in the Woods County 4-H Cupcake Wars competition. She competed as a team with her classmate and won first place. They practiced for many hours together. She would like to continue baking and dreams of being on the Netflix TV show “Is It Cake?”

Elisabeth Ridgway, Student, Alva

Elisabeth Ridgway has entered the contest for a second year with a cake titled “Sunflower Garden.” She likes to bake for fun and finds it relaxing as well. She recently started a small baking business.

Additional information about the festival and sugar show may be found at www.nescatunga.org or on the Nescatunga Arts and Humanities Council Facebook page using /NescatungaArts. Entries are still being accepted for the Sugar Show, however, the early entry fee has passed. The first entry is now $50 with each additional category being $15. Professionals can enter four categories with one being a non-edible dummy cake while aspiring and student sugar artists may enter three.

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