WESTMINSTER -- Attention all bakers, artists, chefs and eaters -- the Westminster Schools Fundraiser for the Arts: Let Them Eat Cake and Gallery Walk is back.

Music teacher Ashley Paine has announced another installment of the event that allows students and families to envision and create their own cakes and then enjoy a stroll through the Gallery Walk to gaze at artwork created by schoolchildren. The festivities, to celebrate and generate funds for the arts programming at the Westminster Center and Westminster West schools, are scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. today.

"There is a special excitement, since we took a year off last year," Paine told the Reformer. "The kids just can't stop talking about it."

She said the event started at least 10 years ago and typically generates about $2,000 for artist-in-residence programs, which she explained allow a visiting artist to come to the schools for a week at a time to work with the classes. Paine said two or three artists visit each year.

The event is popular with families filled with cake-decorating aficionados, who create their unique treats at home and enter them in the contest today. Prize categories will include funniest, most original, healthiest, biggest, fanciest, scariest, smallest, most realistic and most colorful. All winners will receive a hand-painted plate designed by Vanessa Schoonover. Pizza and salad will be available for dinner between 5 and 5:30, during which time cake entries will be dropped off, registered and lined up in the halls. The cake auction will begin at 6 p.m. in the cafeteria with Master of Ceremonies and Auctioneer Extraordinaire Paul Kohler, who is a special education teacher.

Guests will be allowed to walk through the Gallery Walk from 5 to 6 p.m. and observe the art show put together by the children, while students' musical work is played. Paine said each of the schools' 12 classes will also bake their own cake for the contest.

Paine told the Reformer there are usually at least 50 cakes entered. This year, the baked goods will be judged by a three-member panel made up of recently retired teachers who Paine said are eager to see their former pupils again.

Domenic Poli can be reached at dpoli@reformer.com, or 802-254-2311, ext. 277. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoli_reformer.