Sure, the sleek shark with hallow ebony eyes and razor-sharp teeth looked ferocious, but a chomp from the marshmallow predator wouldn't harm any of the visitors at the eighth annual Peepshow in Carroll County, Maryland.
The fundraiser, which benefits the Carroll County Arts Council, features 150 gooey masterpieces, including sculptures, dioramas and mosaics as well as eight mini-videos.
Thousands of people have attended the fundraiser to breathe in the sugar-laced air and attempt the impossible: to choose a favorite display.
Visitors weave in and out of the aisles, viewing entries with titles like "Peepcasso", "The Walking Peeps", and "Everybody Peeps."
With creativity being the only rule for an entry, subjects ranged from Disney characters to anti-bullying campaigns to the recent lift of the Cuban embargo.
Peeps have been an springtime staple since Just Born Candy Company concocted them in 1953.
Over the years, the marshmallow rabbits and chicks have grown in popularity and peep diorama contests, like the one in Westminster, have become more common.
The public's fascination with Peeps is understandable, council spokesperson JoAnna Crone said.
"What's not to like?" Crone asked. "They're sugary sweetness. It's amazing to see what people do with a basic shape."
Last year, more than 25,000 people attended the event. This year's show runs 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. through April 6.
Though admission is free, visitors are able to purchase tokens to vote for their favorite displays. The top six audience favorites will be announced and awarded prizes on the last day of the event.
The Carroll County Arts Council's 8th Annual PEEPshow attracted more than 27,000 visitors who voted for their favorite marshmallow masterpiece in this annual fundraiser. A total of 158 entries were submitted this year with more than 33,687 PEEPS used to create the works of art which ranged from sculptures to mosaics to dioramas to films.Thousands of votes were cast helping to grossed more than $65,000 for the Arts Council.
The Audience Favorite winners were:
Best PEEP Film with 811 Votes, "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" by Abagayle & Emehlia Nelson.
7th Place, with 1520 Votes, "Maryland for the PEEPle" by The Stickles Family.
6th Place with 1555 Votes, "Happy Peepster Plain and Peepnut," by Lia Finch.
5th Place, with 1716 Votes, "Love is All You Need" by Carroll Springs School.
4th Place with 2110 Votes, "Martial Arts Minion" by Tristar Martial Arts.
3rd Place with 2331 Votes, "OMG Gray Hares" by Hot Looks Hair Design.
2nd Place with 2698 Votes, "Curious George Plays Peep-a-Boo" by Katrina Dumont.
1st Place with 2812 Votes, "Left Shark" by Sydney Blacksten.
Grand Prize with 4913 Votes, "Just Born Goofy" by The Mondor Family.
The 2015 Artistic Excellence Awards were:
Best Non-Profit Entry: "Sliding into Greatness" by The Nathan Chris Baker Foundation
Best Photo Entry: "My School Peepture" by Rosey Canapp
Best First-Time Entry: "It's All About the Treble" by Carroll County String Project
Best Group Effort: "Same is Boring" by McDonogh School Peep Club
Best Use of a Single Peep: "The Goldpeep" by Two Y's Women
Best Diorama: "Cuba - Before & After the US Embargo" by Joyce and Harvey Muller
Best Mosaic: "Peep Panda" by Sarah and James Boggs
Best Business Entry: "OMG Gray Hares!" by Hotlooks Hair Design
Fashionista Award: "Belle of the Ball" by Julie Ballard and Stephanie Bunting
Childhood Memories Award: "Pop Goes the Peep" by Jonathan and Gary Helwig
Storytime Award: "Curious George" by Katrina Dumont
Awesome Author Award: "Edgar Peepin' Poe" by Lisa Martin and Clare Hoerl of COB51
Masterpeep Award: "Vincent Van Peep" by Kim Prati
What's Cookin' Award: "Peep on Truckin'" by Becky and Dean Wilson
Candy Crush Award: "Plain & Peepnut" by Lia Finch and M
Triple Crown Winner: "140th Peepness Stakes" by Jen and Will Caster
Cultural Heritage Award: "Peepwork Quilt" by the Historical Society of Carroll County
Reason for the Season Award: "Grow with Christ" by Carroll Lutheran School
Patriot's Pride Award: "Peep-flate Gate" by Gail Garvey
High Tech Award: "Emoji Peeps" by Ashlynn Kidwell
Most Patriotic: "Liberty Bell" by West End Place
Most Uplifting: "Peep-a-Boob" by Cherie Casey
Sponsors' Choice Awards:
Carroll County Office of Tourism: "Maryland for the PEEPle" by the Stickles Family
New Windsor State Bank: "Peeps Bracket" by Boys and Girls Club of Westminster
Edward Goldman DDS: "Little Rex" by Liza, Stella and Granny Jan
Quantum Internet: "A Peep Into the Life of Girl Peeps" by Brownie Troop 10236 and Moms
There were 5,033 Peeps in the "Guess How Many" exhibit. The winner was Angela Carr with a guess of 5,031.