Peeps Diorama: Doesn’t Feel like Easter Til At Least 1 Person Does Something Unusual to a PEEP

Apr 19, 2019 | Lifestyle

Appearing in, April 18, 2019

Photo: Napa County Library visitors Mandy (mother) and Ruby Kreps (9) take a few moments to look over all Peeps diorama selections before voting. Ruby, tasked with a school project to do during Easter break, was in the library hunting for books about the blue-ringed octopus.

It’s a big deal–the annual PEEPS diorama competition. If you’ve not seen, heard about, or tasted a PEEP®, chances are you’re part of a rather small American minority. Colorful, versatile, and nearly as impervious to destruction as a cockroach, these confections have been taking center stage in Napa County Library’s first-ever PEEPs diorama competition.

“We have a terrific turn-out for our first-ever PEEPS diorama, attracting 26 entries,” said Melinda Mathis, teen librarian for Napa County Library. “Sets of siblings, parent-and-child, even entire families collaborated to create small-scale dioramas whose main characters could be found in a book.”

Literary themes selected include: “PEEPer Pan,” “James and the Giant PEEP,” “The Very Hungry PEEPerpillar,” “Sweetie Todd, the Demon Hunter of PEEP Street” and others. Entries are all scaled to fix within a shoebox, or comparable, and include marshmallow bunnies and/or chicks. Most PEEPS are costumed, some are being flown through the air, another is mounted high in a turret. “The youngest participant is age four. She and her mom made PEEP-oana, a tribute to the Disney character Moana,” adds Mathis.

A panel of judges will bestow a first place and runner up award this weekend, but perhaps more important is recognition in the PEEPle’s Choice category. From April 13 to 20, all dioramas have been on display in the Napa County Library lobby, plus the library’s Facebook page. Visitors are voting for their favorites.

PEEPs Diorama Competition in Napa and a Few Facts

Russian immigrant Sam Born (1891-1959) is credited as the PEEPs inventor. The Rodda Candy Company crafted each one-at-a-time using a pastry piping bag. In 1953, Just Born purchased the business. A year later, the new owners fired up a mass production process.

Brightly colored marshmallow confections most often associated with Easter, many will recognize a chick or bunny PEEP. In the 1960s, the PEEPs line expanded to include forms that help mark other holidays, such as Halloween, Christmas and Valentine’s Day.

Yellow was the signature color for the candy line, but today PEEPs can be found in green, orange, pink, blue, lavender and blue. Flavors include vanilla, strawberry, chocolate, plus a wide and exotic range of other tastes. A PEEP contains sugar, corn syrup, gelatin and various food dyes. The official name is PEEPS® Brand Marshmallow Candies,

Know Your Peeps

There’s an annual PEEPs eating contest held in front of the PEEPs & Company store. The 2017 winner from California devoured 255 PEEPs in five minutes.

peeps diorama caterpillar