As if the Pocono Mountains are not already synonymous enough with family travel, the long time vacation destination has a new tool in its arsenal. Enter the cupcake. That’s right, cupcakes; this little baked bundle of goodness is doing more than filling the stomach’s of travelers every September at the Shawnee Inn and Golf Resort. The 3rd Annual Pocono Cupcake Challenge is set to take place on September 21st, 2014. This year, the festival comes with a bang. As Jeromy Wo tells us, cupcakes are fighting for the cause this time around. I had a chance to chat with Jeromy about this unique event, and what he had to tell me spreads well beyond anything a cupcake is typically associated with.
RAL: Cupcakes…Everyone loves them, but an entire festival? Tell me about it…
JW: This actually started out a few years back as a spur of the moment idea. Our GM here at the Shawnee Inn came into the office one day and said, “Guys, I think I want to do a cupcake festival.” Naturally we all laughed, but lone and behold, here we are 3 years late still going strong, and it is a really unique event.
We invite local and regional cupcake vendors to compete for various awards at the festival. The cool part about all of this is that we invite the public to come out and vote on what they like the most. We have the people’s choice awards and the professionally designated awards. We bring in judges from the TV show Cupcake Wars to give us some expert insight, and we go from there for a day filled with cupcakes and fun.
RAL: Why is this something I would want to take my family to?
JW: The great thing about the Cupcake Festival is the array of activities that we offer, both at the event and at Shawnee. Throughout the day, we have so much going on – water balloon fights, 3 legged races, cupcake eating contests, and so much more. It’s really great for the kids. On top of that, the resort is surrounded by the Pocono Mountains. On one side of the resort, you have the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area that gives you thousands of acres of hiking, biking, swimming, and more. The resort is also located on the front of the beautiful Delaware River, so we feel that the event, coupled with the location and the resort itself are really a winning combination for families.
RAL: This event has some significance to the community as well – what is that all about?
JW: This is the detail of the event that really gives us that warm feeling. All of the monies raised at the Cupcake Challenge are donated directly to the United Way of Monroe County. Last year, we were able to raise over $10,000 in donations, and we expect even more this year as thousands of repeat and new guests will visit us for the weekend. So for us, this is an event that the community relies on for a cause bigger than ourselves. Some people might laugh and say “cupcakes? How can cupcakes be of benefit to anything?” Well, we have proven that cupcakes can go a long way. The local community benefits from the event, and everyone has fun in the process.
RAL: Who typically comes to the Cupcake Challenge – What is the demographic?
JW: A lot of the attendance we see come through are local folks. The event is talked about all year here, so we do see a good number of locals attend. However, on the flip side of things, we do have people that travel in every year from the other side of the country just for this one weekend. We might see some guests come in from the surrounding New York area, as well as New Jersey, but we also get those guests that make it a point to plan their Fall vacation around this event.
Learn More About the 3rd Annual Pocono Cupcake Challenge, visit The Shawnee Inn and Golf Resort.