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More than 500 flock to Cupcake War
Sheriffs office clerk Hershey Harriman, dressed as a zombie, staffs the Liberty County Sheriffs Office booth at the Cupcake War on Tuesday at the Shuman Center. - photo by Photo by Danielle Hipps

Cupcake War winners
• First place: September Sweets — Kim McGlothlin and Maria Tart on behalf of the Liberty County Board of Commissioners
• Second place: The Walking Dead — Hershey Harriman, Diana Keel, Karen Branch and Christina Tuten on behalf of the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office
• Third place: Krystal’s Cakes — Krystal Rhoden
• People’s choice:  The Last Song — Rachel Heath and Sara Burkeen

The Hinesville Area Arts Council’s sweetest event drew about 500 attendees Tuesday to sample 3,300 cupcakes in an assortment of flavors.
The culinary competition was the fourth cupcake event the arts council has hosted and the second annual one for Georgia Cities Week, according to council Chairwoman Leah Poole. The “Where the Action Is” theme celebrated Georgia’s film industry.
The event is among their most popular and fastest-growing. To accommodate more attendees and teams, the event was moved from the Hinesville Area Arts Council gallery to the Shuman Recreation Center.
“I think free cupcakes are going to be popular just about anywhere,” Poole said.
Angela Cobeo agreed. She brought daughters Haille and Daija Jones, 16 and 5.
“I didn’t even know they did something like this; one of my customers came in and told me about it,” Cobeo said. “I know my daughter loves cupcakes, so I had to bring them. This is great, this is really great.”
“I love cupcake warriors,” Daija added between bites.
Cobeo and her girls were among the attendees who voted for people’s choice.
Four volunteers judged the competitors according to their creativity, taste, originality and interpretation of the theme to determine first-, second- and third-place winners.
Two Liberty County teams got in on the fun to incorporate National County Government Month. Those teams, with first-time competitors, took first- and second-place.
Finance department employees Kim McGlothlin and Maria Tart took first place with their “Forrest Gump”-themed table.
“It’s a lot of work,” McGlothlin said, divulging her key to success. “It’s not just about baking. It’s about catering to the theme, coming up with your props and your presentation — the baking part of it is fun work — but there’s also all that other aspect about setting up and being there on time and being ready and using props to create a whole theme.”
They had a crème-filled red velvet cupcake called “Jenny, You’re My Girl,” and a lighter, fruitier option called the “Bubba-Gump Shrimp” cupcake.
Instead of shrimp, it had pineapples, vanilla pudding and Cool Whip icing topped with a mandarin orange dipped in white chocolate and fashioned to look like a shrimp.
They weren’t the only team with the Gump theme — veteran participants Amber White and Bradwell Institute junior Sarah Whited also celebrated the coming-of-age tale that was filmed in Savannah.
Whited, who is in the culinary arts program and is an aspiring baker, brought Bubba Gump’s shrimp to life with a cupcake topped with coconut shrimp paired with a chocolate-truffle cupcake.
Across the gym, White’s table had six varieties, including Dr. Pepper-infused cakes topped with chocolates to represent Gump’s saying, “Life is like a box of chocolates; you never know what you’re going to get.” Another popular bite was an almond cake topped with caramel icing and candies that resembled peas and carrots, which Forrest likened him and Jenny to.
“I enjoyed it and was glad that the community came out, and we’ll probably do it again,” McGlothlin said.
She added the county was happy to make a strong showing, since the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office placed second for its “The Walking Dead” table inspired by the AMC tale that has been filmed in several Georgia towns.
“I actually thought their booth was the best, because it was no question about what they were celebrating, and it just made sense for them to do that one,” she said.
Sheriff’s office clerk Hershey Harriman fashioned the booth’s zombie-inspired décor using recycled items, while coworkers Diana Keel, Karen Branch and Christina Tuten oversaw the baking end.
“We’re in it to win it,” Harriman said, donning zombie face paint and a traditional inmate’s jumpsuit.

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