Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Peeps Show

The fluffy marshmallows become lawyers, singers, zombies at Morgan Price Candy Co.
By Andrea Brunty, Living editor, The Decatur Daily

Peeps splash in the waves at Point Mallard Water Park, water ski on the Tennessee River and square off in a Decatur vs. Austin football game.

This is no early April Fool’s joke.

Morgan Price Candy Co. at 11th Street Southeast decided to hold its first Peeps Show in March.

Owner Mary Morgan said it was too hard for her to judge the 32 entries, so she brought in Tami Reist of the Decatur-Morgan County Convention & Visitors Bureau, artist Blu Smith and Calhoun Community College professor Sue Mitchell.

At an open house Friday, attendees marveled over the creative dioramas, which included everything from bloodied zombie Peeps in “28 Peeps Later” to the Red Hot Chili Peep-ers singing “Jeepers Creepers, where’d you get those peepers?”

Peeps of all colors were getting cloned, while Peep Vader told Peep Skywalker that he is his father. Some of the fluffy sweets climbed Mount Peep, a mountain of miniature marshmallows. Displays also depicted video games like Silent Hill 2 and Dragon Ball Z and the comic book the “Watchmen.”

First-place winner Corie Terry, a senior at Austin High School, loved the movie “Legally Blonde,” so the courtroom scene was a natural choice for her Peeps project.

The judge, bailiff, jury and spectators add to the setting, but it’s the pink Peeps with long blonde hair that stand out — law student Elle Woods had her sorority friends’ support.

Terry was one of several students at Austin who created Peep displays for the contest through an art class. She spent 10 hours on her project — five in class and five at home.

“Everything just came together after I got home and thought about it,” she said.

She used cardboard, paper, felt and tons of hot glue — “You could turn it over and nothing is going to move,” she said.

Despite the time she spent, Terry was surprised to win first place.

“I didn’t know that I would even be in the running,” she said.

For second-place winner Pamela Milligan of Decatur, depicting Concerts by the River was also an easy decision. Last year, her family didn’t miss any of the summer concert series at Rhodes Ferry Park. They also like outdoor activities like fishing, boating and skiing.

“I thought (the contest) was such a cute idea, and I’m a crafty artsy type of person, but then I thought, ‘How in the world am I supposed to do this?’ ” she said. “Then the creative juices got flowing a little bit.”

Her materials included hot glue, Popsicle sticks for water skis, Easter grass for the river water and park grass, cardboard and wine corks for a raft, and paper for a hat and fan for a Southern belle Peep.

Milligan took apart a necklace to use the beads as microphones for the Peeps version of the band, Plus One. The quintet sings at Annunciation of the Lord Catholic Church, where Milligan is a member.

The 52-year-old is excited to show friends at church her handiwork, which took her a full day to complete.

The third-place display featured “Peeps on the Ground,” a parody of the “Pants on the Ground” song from an “American Idol” audition. Presley Wright, 17, of Decatur included a sequined disco ball, speakers and a black T-shirt for Simon Cowell.

Shaun “Peep” White snowboards into fourth place at the “Peep” Olympics with his red hair streaming behind him. Austin High junior Tyler Brown created the display.

The Best Depiction of North Alabama award went to Kelly Tuck of Town Creek for “Alabama Peep Outdoors.” The 32-year-old artist sketched out her display before finding recycled materials for the campground.

She used items like cardboard, driftwood, rocks, wrapping paper and scrap paper for the Peeps’ tent, sleeping bag, “Outdoor” magazine, campfire and background, which she painted trees and added a glittery sun.

“When you think of Alabama, you think of pretty sunsets and the outdoors, so I tried to show that,” she said. “I had fun doing it.”

It took her about two hours to complete, which she was only able to do after her two young children were asleep, she said, laughing.

Honorable mentions

“Alice in Peepland,” based on the tea party in “Alice in Wonderland,” by Emalie Cruz of Decatur.

“Cloning of the Peeps,” by Elizabeth Self of Decatur.

“Peeps Rocket (Apeepso XIII),” based on the Space and Rocket Center, by Chloe and Will Monin, 8-year-old twins from Decatur.

“Some Peeps Just Want to Play Football,” based on an Austin vs. Decatur football game, by Keri Rodgers of Hartselle.

“Peeps Barber Shop,” by Debbie Graham of Decatur.

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