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Updated: 12/26/2013 08:00:01AM

Cookie Fest entertains as children play pastry chef

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A bright, cheerful banner welcomed children of all ages to CookieFest.


Cassidy Edwards, 10, concentrates as she decorates a cookie.


Spending time at an art table at Cookie Fest were Kinsley White, Kassidy Caputo, Keegan White and Brock Forsee.


Sunnybell the cow took time to visit with sisters Raelynn and Reece Owens. Raelyn is 7 and Reece is 3 years old.


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Cookies, cupcakes, Christmas cards, and letters to Santa. Such were the choices for children who attended CookieFest in Sebring. Not just cookies – but lots more. At the registration table, children received a “Got Milk?” cup filled with goodies and an activity book, all courtesy of the Florida Dairy Farmers. They also received a carton of milk!

There were three craft and activity stations to choose from.

Station number one was sponsored by The Palms of Sebring. Chef Mac Gentleman was the cookie master. Each child received two cookies to decorate any way they wanted. Everything from colored sprinkles to M&M’s to sugary icing, was available. Children could eat their cookies there or take them home in a decorative bag.

Anabella Lopez was having a great time being a cookie decorator. Cassidy Edwards decorated her cookies, overseen by a man with a jolly red hat.

“We’ve had a great turnout. It’s lots of fun. I’ve seen some very neat and creative decorations. These kids are great,” said Chef Mac.

Station number two was the arts and crafts table sponsored by the Highlands Arts League. The young artists were hard at work with their creations, using craft items in different colors and textures in creating their pop-up Christmas cards. Kinsley and Keegan White, Kassidy Caputo and Brock Forsee were very seriously working on their masterpieces. Marissa Bruns proudly showed her Mom what she made.

HAL volunteers Megan Ekenstedt, Alice Hansen and Barbara Wade were on hand to lend some expertise to the budding artists. “We’re the artists in the yellow house on Lakeview Drive,” they said, almost in unison.

Children could write letters to Santa, too. All of the letters will go to Macy’s where they will then be sent to Santa at the North Pole. For every card they receive, Macy’s will donate $1 to the “Make A Wish Foundation.” Volunteer Alice Hansen assisted young Tommy Wohl as he made his wish list.

Station number three was sponsored by Jen’s Cakery and Bakery. “Chocolate or Vanilla?” was asked of the children as they grabbed their seats. “Chocolate” was the most common answer.

The children had their choice of cake flavor, frosting colors (red, green or white) and many other edible decorations to create their own spectacular cupcake creation. Some of the children took their creations to the festive tables, decorated courtesy of Affordable Flowers, to share with family and friends. Others proudly carried theirs’ home in holiday decorated bags.

Sunnybell the Cow greeted children and patiently waited while eager parents took pictures. Sisters Raelynn and Reece Owens were excited to meet Sunnybell and posed as Mom took some pictures to share.