How can you have a cupcake festival with no cupcakes? That’s not a riddle; it actually happened the first year of the Gardiner Cupcake Festival
when Wright’s Farm, the only cupcake vendor, sold out in the first hour. But seven years later, the festival has grown to showcase a variety of cupcake vendors and moved from Main Street in Gardiner to the 6th generation family-run Wright’s Farm itself.
Now you can gorge all day on creations from Deising’s Bakery in Kingston, Kokopelli Cookie Company in Washingtonville, Eat This Bakery in Montgomery, and last year’s popular gluten-free and vegan options from Peace, Love and Cupcakes in Woodstock. There’s even an amateur cupcake contest where avid bakers (of any age) can try their best recipes.
New this year is a 5k trail run through the blooming apple orchard, which ends in the festival spot. Co-organizer, Mackenzie Dietz (who now organizes the festival with her mom and sister, Tammy and Samantha Boylan) thinks it’s a great way to start the day before getting your fill of cupcakes. In fact, there are many food vendors to choose from, including grass-fed hamburgers and hotdogs from Gardiner’s own Brookside Farms, Pasquale Pizza, and BBQ from Handsome Devil. Bring a picnic blanket and grab some lunch.
It’s an all-day event with a stage and live music for a nice festival feel. There are tastings from local wineries and distilleries for the adults, plus bouncy houses, face painting, decorate-your-own-cupcakes, and pony rides for the kids. Even the dogs are welcome.
It all happens in a big, open field on a 500-acre farm that spans two towns, so there’s a good flow, and it doesn’t feel congested even though last year it was attended by 12,000 people.
As Dietz puts it, “Who doesn’t love cupcakes?”
Gardiner Cupcake Festival at Wright Farm on May 16th, 2015, 12-6p.
There's no parking fee, and admission is just $1 for adults; kids 12 and under are free. Cupcakes are purchased from vendors a la carte (about $2+ each) and most take credit/debit cards. Kids’ activities require a small fee or donation. The 5k Cupcake Classic is $25 to enter, so sign up online
. Check out the festival on Facebook
. It happens rain or shine. Bring picnic blankets, an empty stomach, and coolers for storing extra cupcakes!
Like it? Check out the JCC Cupcake Wars on June 14th in Newburgh. Or schedule a private cupcake tasting or your very own mobile cupcake bar from JJ’s Rocking Cupcakes.