LENOX >> Calling all Peeps ... Ventfort Hall Mansion and Gilded Age Museum is gearing up for the 2016 Peep Show. No, not an adults-only burlesque peep show, but one with dioramas featuring the popular colored marshmallow treats.
According to Linda Rocke, Ventfort's marketing coordinator, the local contest was inspired by a Peeps diorama contest held by The Washington Post, now in its 10th year. Partners for the Lenox contest include Ventfort Hall, local merchants, the Lenox Chamber of Commerce and the Lenox school system.
"This year's theme is anything representing Berkshire County," Rocke said, adding there would be extra credit given if any puns were employed in the concept or title of a diorama. "All characters in the diorama must be Peeps. And it's all free — there is no entry fee."
Last year's Peeple's Choice Award winner, out of a field of a dozen dioramas, was a diorama titled "Robes-Peep-ierre," which featured a guillotine, Rocke said. Another entry, titled "Ali," featured Peeps in a boxing ring. Rocke suggested people Google The Washington Post contest for ideas and inspiration.
Local contest categories include: Children to age 12 (submitted with a parent or guardian), teens ages 13 to 18 and adults 19-plus. Group categories include: Families and Business/Organizations. First, second and third prize ribbons will be awarded in all categories; one ribbon per diorama in the case of a group project. The deadline to deliver an entry to Ventfort Hall is 3 p.m. Tuesday, March 15.
Once the dioramas are judged, the public is invited to view them from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, March 19, at Ventfort Hall. The Peeples Choice Ribbon will be given to the best diorama overall, determined by popular vote of those attending. After the show, the dioramas will be on view for a week at various merchants in Lenox.
Dioramas should be no larger than a shoe box, but some are submitted minus a box altogether, Rocke said, Adding, "This year, we had a Girl Scout troop who asked if they could use Girl Scout cookie boxes."
"It's a fun thing we do this time of year," Rocke said. "People have cabin fever and are looking to break out the winter doldrums."
Contest rules and entry forms are available at gildedage.org/2016-lenox-peeps-show.