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Whitehall Public Library brings back edible book event

| Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2012, 9:32 p.m.
South Hills Record
Whitehall Public Library will host an “Edible Book Festival” on Oct. 13. Submitted photo.

Mix a dab of art, an ounce of cooking and a dose of literature and you've found the recipe for success at Whitehall Public Library's “Edible Book Festival.”

The festival, held in the Whitehall Borough community room, 100 Borough Park Drive, on Oct. 13 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., will feature food creations designed to replicate a book, its title, main character or anything one can imagine related to literacy. Entry forms, which can be found at the library website, are due today, Thursday.

“It brings together a love of art, cooking and literature. How can you go wrong,” said adult services coordinator Debby Rampolla.

The festival serves as a contest, where participants will compete to create the best food-based item, based on literature, for prizes.

Don't fret, though, if you don't have a bakers touch. Creativity is what counts, librarians stress. And there will be no taste testing at the festival. Items will only be judged on looks.

Awards will be given for: best in show for adult, children and teens; funniest/punniest; most realistic; and people's choice. Judges will be community representatives from a variety of fields.

“If you just sit back and think about it, you can come up with a really good idea,” Rampolla said.

Last year, her daughter, Lauren, then 16, entered the festival with her take on “Love in the Time of Cholera.” She won for “punniest” creation.

“It was fun,” Rampolla said of her daughter's experience.

Library director Paula Kelly also entered last year – although she excluded herself from all eligibility for winning or prizes. She just wanted to experience the event, she said.

Using blue Jell-O and animal crackers strategically placed in a pie crust, she created a “Water for Elephants” design, Kelly said.

“It's just plain old good fun,” she said. “I can't wait to participate again this year.”

The festival allows people of all ages to work together to design their edible creation, the Whitehall librarians said.

And any literature – from a book to a magazine – can serve as inspiration.

Last year, at the festival's debut in Whitehall, participants were creative, librarians said.

Literary inspirations ranged from “A Taste of Home” to “Harry Potter,” “Catcher in the Rye” and “Stone Soup.”

Once people are at the library for this event, Rampolla said she hopes they realize what a great place it is “to learn and have fun” and that “it's the center of the community.”

Stephanie Hacke is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5818 or shacke@tribweb.com.

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