June Cupcake Crawl Offers a Sweet Sneak Preview of the Cupcake Love-In

Event founders Kelly Garcia of Butter & Me and Tracy Dempsey of Tracy Dempsey Originals, and their crew, are trying to get locals excited about this year's Cupcake Love-In at Scottsdale's Hotel Valley Ho. Not that they need to -- some guests were so upset at being turned away from last year's sold-out event that they screamed, cried, or begged to be let in. One patron had actually flown in from out of state to attend, but neglected to buy a ticket in advance.

"We were happily caught off guard by the interest in the event," says Dempsey. "Ticket sales started off quite slow, so our team was completely flabbergasted when the event sold out and then we began dealing with unhappy folks who couldn't purchase tickets. We could have sold the event twice as it turns out!"

In preparation for what's likely to be another packed house, Garcia and Dempsey are hosting several shorter, smaller preview events like the upcoming Cupcake Crawl from 6-9 p.m. on Thursday, June 16 in downtown Phoenix. The concept is similar to a traditional pub crawl, minus the hops. Cupcake crawlers will enjoy mini cupcakes, food & drink specials, and cupcake-inspired cocktails at three stops along the light rail: Fez, Hula's Modern Tiki and Smeeks. The $20 admission price (a portion of which goes to Crisis Nursery) also includes a Cupcake Love-In t-shirt. 

The crawl is expected to be the last cupcake mini-event before the official Love-In on October 30, which will have some notable changes from the inaugural event.

Get the scoop on the 2011 Cupcake Love-In after the jump. 

This year, admission will need to be purchased online and in advance. Guests will receive a limited number of cupcake tasting tickets, and the bakers will be asked to limit their entries to reduce waste.

"After all, we are raising money for Central Arizona Shelter Services which provides services to our Valley homeless," says Dempsey. "It doesn't seem right to waste so much food at an event that is trying to help those who have been in situations where the scarcity of a meal may have been a real concern." Plus, the chefs won't be bummed when they see their hard work headed for the Dumpster.

The cupcake decorating station, eating contest and raffle prizes will return alongside new components such as VIP admission and a working demo kitchen. This year's lineup ranges from veterans Barb's Bakery and Tammie Coe to hardworking chefs from Posh, Arcadia Farms and Liberty Market. For updates, ticket sales and more info, visit the official Cupcake Love-In site.

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