With the arrival of spring comes the arrival of Peeps, those brightly colored marshmallow candies that take their place next to the rest of the Easter candy in store aisles. Peeps originally came in the shape of baby chicks and were produced by the Rodda Candy Company. In 1953, the Just Born candy company acquired Rodda and began mass producing these once handmade confections. Just Born has expanded its Peep line to include other shapes, such as bunnies and hearts.
The Morrison County Historical Society has adopted PEEP as a theme for its exhibits and events in 2016. To play off this theme, the organization is hosting a Peep Contest featuring the marshmallow confections. MCHS wants to see Morrison County’s history illustrated in Peep dioramas.
Imagine Mayor Ken Flolid ordering Highway 371 to be cut to divert the flood waters in 1972, or Mother Mary Elizabeth Ignatius Hayes starting a convent in Belle Prairie, or the Ojibwe harvesting wild rice from Rice and Skunk Lakes, or Brian Kobilka winning the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, but in Peeps. Any scene, whether mundane or lofty, from any era, prior to Morrison County’s formation in 1856 to the present day, can be made into a Peep diorama for purposes of this contest.
The rules are as follows:
- Contest entrants can work individually or in teams to build their scenes of county history, which must include at least one Peep candy. Other materials in addition to Peeps can be used to build the scene.
- Entrants do not have to live in Morrison County, but their scenes must depict some aspect of Morrison County’s history. (For example, while Charles Lindbergh’s historic New York to Paris flight did not occur in Morrison County, it is related to area history because Lindbergh grew up in the county. This sort of scene will be deemed acceptable in terms of the contest.)
- Each diorama must come with an exhibit label, a written explanation of what aspect of Morrison County history is being illustrated. Exhibit labels are limited to 250 words in length.
- A completed entry form must accompany each submission. (Find the entry form below or pick one up at the Weyerhaeuser Museum, 2151 South Lindbergh Drive, Little Falls, MN.)
- Dioramas can measure no larger than 24 inches x 24 inches x 24 inches.
- The contest is open to all ages. Teams of mixed ages are encouraged.
- Please create dioramas that are appropriate for audiences of all ages.
Entrants are encouraged to visit The Charles A. Weyerhaeuser Memorial Museum go to the Morrison County Historical Society’s website at morrisoncountyhistory.org to get ideas for their dioramas.
Contest entries, including diorama, exhibit label, and entry form, are due April 15, 2016, by 5:00 p.m. They must be dropped off at The Charles A. Weyerhaeuser Memorial Museum, 2151 South Lindbergh Drive, Little Falls, MN.
Peep dioramas will be judged by the Morrison County Historical Society’s board of directors. Dioramas and labels will be judged based on creativity, how clearly and accurately county history is explained, how well the diorama illustrates the history, and the neatness of the diorama and label.
Winners will be announced on April 22, 2016, at an evening event at the Weyerhaeuser Museum. They will be notified directly if they are unable to attend.
The first place winner, whether individual or team, will receive $75, a copy of the book “A Big Hearted Paleface Man: Nathan Richardson and the History of Morrison County, Minnesota,” and a one-year membership to the Morrison County Historical Society.
The second place winner, whether individual or team, will receive $50, a copy of the book “Little Falls on the Big River,” and a one-year membership to the Morrison County Historical Society.
The third place winner, whether individual or team, will receive $25, a choice of one of three MCHS monographs, and a one-year membership to the Morrison County Historical Society.
All dioramas entered in the contest will be photographed and shared via MCHS’s publicity channels and at the organization’s 2016 annual meeting in September. They will be on display at the Weyerhaeuser Museum through the month of May. The dioramas may be picked up by contestants at the beginning of June.
For more information, call MCHS at 320-632-4007.