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At Jaffrey event, they say, 'Let them eat (cup)cake'

JAFFREY - About 1,500 people turned out for free cupcakes at the ninth annual Night of 1,000 Cupcakes at the Jaffrey Civic Center on Thursday evening.

"Get Thee to a Cupcake," was the decree, said event Co-chairman Dion Owens.

He said for the first time in the nearly 10-year run event coordinators decided to adopt a theme. They chose the 450th anniversary of William Shakespeare's birthday.

"Nobody knows for certain, but they are saying that this is Shakespeare's 450th birthday so there is quite a hoot about Shakespeare across the land, not just here in America, but in England and other countries," Dion said.

Many bakers took up the challenge and frosted Bard-themed works from "Romeo and Juliet" to "As You Like It." Others used the deep blue ocean and patriotic themes for their confectionaries.

And young thespians from the Jaffrey-based Project Shakespeare performed for the cupcake-eating crowd.

The event began nine years ago as a 40th anniversary celebration for the Jaffrey Civic Center. Organizers thought Night of 1,000 Cupcakes would be a onetime event.

"People said, 'It was so much fun can, we do it again?' After five years, we said, 'Should we give it a rest?' No. People are calling Dion in the spring, saying 'When is Cupcakes, we are planning our vacation,'" said Co-chairman Stephanie Minteer. "We are kind of blown away by it."

The event takes 150 volunteers to pull off, ranging from the those who set up and clean up to the cupcake cops who guard the confections.

This year, 69 individuals, groups and businesses dropped off contributions, totaling 3,375 cupcakes.

Minteer said the event brings people together, one cupcake at a time.

"Everyone is here mingling and having a good time over something as corny as getting a free cupcake. It's kind of great," Minteer said.

Project Shakespeare is presenting performances of "Hamlet," "The Taming of the Shrew" and "As You Like It" in Peterborough, Jaffrey and Rindge starting Thursday. For more information, visit projectshakespeare.org.

mpierce@newstote.com



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