SALT LAKE CITY — Hundreds of people have gathered from around the world to enjoy cookies as a tasty art form at CookieCon.
The three-day Cookie Art Convention and Show, which began Thursday, is hosting nearly 500 cookie decorators and vendors in Salt Lake City. Cookie fans from 44 states and 16 countries are receiving instruction on how to hone their decorating skills while connecting with others who share their passion.
"Cookies just bring a lot of happiness," said organizer Karen Summers. "It's just kind of a fun thing. Our event is great because there is a lot of positivity."
CookieCon also features the Sugar Show, a friendly competition where decorators can show off their skills. Cookie designs range from beloved story characters to fire-breathing dragons.
The public is invited to visit the display for free and pick their favorites on Saturday from 8 a.m.-6 p.m. at the Hilton Salt Lake Center at 255 S. West Temple. Guests can also buy supplies from participating vendors.
The best part of the convention is seeing people come together, Summer said.
"The online community for cookie decorators is really tight, so it is fun to see people meet face to face for the first time," she said. "Its fun to see the love they already have for each other."
Summers was a professional cookie decorator. She became busy after she got married, but still had a passion for cookies and created the website karenscookies.net with the help of her husband.
After developing a following during the early days of the Internet, she launched a cookie supply business from the basement of their home in Idaho Falls. She created relationships with various vendors through her business and decided to start a convention to bring others together.
"I'm a cookie enabler," she said.
The first CookieCon was also held in Salt Lake City in 2012, and Summers said they plan to host the event once every year and a half.
"It creates a lot of opportunities that aren't there otherwise," she said. "It's amazing a little cookie can do that."