It’s the perfect combination — a fun book and a tasty treat.
The second South Whidbey Edible Book Festival returns to Whidbey to celebrate books, art and food this Saturday, March 29.
The festival is a two-prong contest and fundraiser to benefit the South Whidbey Parks and Aquatics Foundation. The foundation will donate funds collected from the festival to The Rotary Club of South Whidbey to build an outdoor basketball court.
For lead organizer Jill Yomnick, the festival is an entertaining way to raise money. She chose the parks foundation as a beneficiary because she believes in their mission to support parks and aquatics programs on the South End.
Readers, bakers and enthusiasts enter either an appetizer, entree or dessert inspired by a book cover or character. The only requirement is that it’s edible.
Entries will be judged for six categories; best in show, best visual presentation, most “Pun”derful, most appetizing, teen and children under 12. Entry is free and donations go toward building a full-sized basketball court at Community Park.
The festival brought together many South Whidbey groups to put the dream of a community basketball court in its final months. Members from the South Whidbey Parks and Aquatics Foundation joined with The Rotary Club of South Whidbey, which is partnered with the South Whidbey Parks & Recreation District.
The club has raised $33,579 of the $39,870 needed to build the court. Fundraising for the project began in the fall of 2010.
Rotary club member Louis Muniz said he was thrilled to have the support of the festival. The full-sized regulation court is expected to be installed sometime this spring or summer after a few more fundraising efforts, he said.
“Every penny counts,” Muniz added.
Krista Loercher, president of the South Whidbey Parks and Aquatics Foundation’s board, hopes to raise as much money as possible through the festival.
The foundation’s mission is to facilitate partnerships and help support and finance parks and aquatics programs, such as the basketball court.
“We see this as a big win for all of us,” Loercher said of the festival. “Connecting that great event with a full-sized basketball court, a health-promoting activity for young and old is a win-win-win and we’re thrilled to be involved.”
Prizes and gift certificates for winners of the festival were donated by several businesses including Moonraker Books, Book Lovers Book Exchange, Useless Bay Coffee Co., Mukilteo Coffee, Neil’s Clover Patch, Casey’s Crafts, Village Pizzeria, The Roaming Radish and Lind’s Freeland Pharmacy.
The first festival began in France in 2000 and has since spread internationally.
Yomnick first attended a festival in Seattle three years ago and thought having a similar event on South Whidbey would be a fun idea.
“I think it’s a creative way to celebrate books, have fun and raise money at the same time,” Yomnick said of the festival.
Last year kicked off the first festival on South Whidbey. About 30 entries were included and more than 100 people came to view the yummy, pun-filled treats.
The short festival will include an hour of judging the entries, followed by a sampling to taste the creativity. The winners will be chosen by an audience vote.
Yomnick hopes to see even more creative books this year. Some of her favorites from last year include a chocolate cake with a decoration of owls burrowing out of the cake. It was inspired by the book “Hoot” and was “pretty adorable,” Yomnick remembers.
Another notable entry was from Nancy Welles of Moonraker Books, who made a delicious dessert based on the book “The Elegance of the Hedgehog,” she said.
“I think everybody likes looking at the creative entries. Of course, eating is wonderful and the entries always taste great,” Yomnick said.
Edible Book Festival
The festival will be from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, March 29 at Bayview Hall, 5642 Bayview Road, Langley. Judging and photography will be from 2 to 3 p.m. followed by a tasting for all.
For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Yomnick at 360-341-6406.