This year's Cake Walk: easier access, more to do
While the Grandview Band Parents Association's 64th annual Cake Walk again will send more than 240 cakes home with lucky participants, this year's event includes several new forms of fun.
The Cake Walk will be held from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. March 22 in the Grandview Heights High School gym, 1587 W. Third Ave. Doors open at 6:15 p.m.
"This year we will have doors on both sides of the gym open, so people can enter either from the Fairview Avenue or Oakland Avenue side," said Debbie York, who is serving as co-chairwoman of the event with Cathy Murphy.
"The Cake Walk is such a popular community event, we wanted to help reduce the congestion at the entrance," York said. "Now people can park on Oakland, at the middle school, the football field or in the parking lot by the gym and enter off Oakland."
Admission has been increased to $1, but a ticket to participate in a cake ring is still just 25 cents.
"It's been 25 cents for a long, long time," York said. "Where else do you see such a low price?"
Participants in the Cake Walk make their way around a 30-chair cake ring while the band plays. When the band stops playing, participants find a chair to sit in (there is a chair for everyone). A number is drawn, and the person sitting in the chair with the corresponding number wins a cake.
The middle school band will play from 6:30 to 8 p.m. and the high school band will play from 8 to 9:30 p.m., York said.
Last year's event raised about $5,000, "which is a lot of money a quarter at a time," she said. "We're really hoping to raise more money this year."
New elements at this year's Cake Walk will include a professional face-painter who will paint faces for $8 per person; an artist making balloon animals that will cost $1 to $5 depending on the animal; and henna or painted tattoos on sale for $3 to $5.
"They will all be found in our game area, which we are moving this year to the balcony at the gym," York said. "We moved it to the balcony so that parent volunteers can still watch and hear the bands play."
This year's concessions will include corn dogs and walking tacos, she said. Youngsters also will be able to purchase a "Mother's Special" of a cupcake and a carton of whole or chocolate milk for $1.
The annual cake-decorating contest will be divided into divisions of youth (age 18 and younger) and adults (19 and older).
The youth division will include categories of Bobcat Spirit, Most Creative and cartoon theme. Adults will be judged in Bobcat theme, children's theme and Cake Walk theme.
The Cake Walk serves as one of the major fundraisers for the band parents association, which supports the band program by helping to reduce the cost of band camp for students and paying for instrument and uniform repairs and purchases.
The cakes that will be given away in the cake rings are donated by parents of instrumental band students, York said.
"We ask each parent to donate one cake for each of their children who is a band student," she said. "We never run out of cakes."
About 110 students participate in the middle school band and 135 students are part of the high school band.
"It's an incredible number for a school our size," York said. "Being in the band is really popular here. We have cheerleaders, mascots and even football players who are playing in the band at halftime.
"It really is like Mayberry or The Music Man," she said.