The 3rd Annual Delaware Capital Region Bridal Showcase will be held in Dover in February. The event, which features an assortment of ideas for Kent County bridal parties, will also feature a cake designing contest.

Kent County Tourism has announced that the 2013 Delaware Capital Region Bridal Showcase will be held Sunday, Feb. 17, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., at the Hilton Garden Inn in Dover. Registration is now open for brides-to-be and their guests.

Kent County Tourism Director of Sales Charles Gray said that brides will be able to see just how many options wedding parties have locally.

"Exhibitors will be on hand in a comfortable setting to discuss needs and wants without the feel of an overwhelming show," Gray said.

Premier sponsors include Tents & Events by Dover Rent-All, who will have tablescape displays and other options to present to prospective brides. Photographers, bakers, florists and reception entertainment options will also be on-hand during the showcase. C.M. Baker Photography will snap a pose for each bride while Cook Smith Florists will provide a free flower for couples who attend together. Alex Vaughan Mobile Entertainment will serve as Master of Ceremonies for the event and attendees will have the opportunity to discuss options for planning their special celebrations. Honeymoon help will also be available from Cruise One and Jet Set Travel.

Additionally, venue options, including Maple Dale Country Club, Hilton Garden Inn, Microtel Inn, Holiday Inn Express and Hampton Inn, will be on hand to showcase their facilities, while bridal shops and make-up artists will display the latest fashions.

Prospective brides can currently register for the event for free by visiting Guests who register early will receive 50 percent off admission. Tickets will also be available at the door for $10 per guest.

$500 up for grabs for local cake designers

AmericInns of Kent County and Microtel of Dover, in conjunction with the Third Annual Capital Region Bridal Showcase, are sponsoring a contest that will hopefully sniff out the best cake designers in the region.

The contest will be limited to the first five entries, with preference given to Kent County residents, chefs and businesses. It is open to professional cake designers, chefs and amateurs, and there is no cost to enter. However, each cake must include 200 small samples for judging purposes. Brides attending the showcase will vote to select the winners.

"Designer cakes have never been more popular," said Charles Gray, Director of Sales for Kent County Tourism and coordinator of the Bridal Showcase. "With the multitude of shows such as Cake Boss, there's never been more attention paid to wedding cakes and wedding shower cakes, and this competition will give our local cake bakers the opportunity to demonstrate their skills and compete for cash."

The cash prizes are $500 for "best overall" and $200 for "most creative."

Contest rules include:

• Cake base tier will consist of a 9-inch diameter round, maximum layers totaling no more than 6 inches;

• Cake base tier may contain internal supporting dowels and/or posts. Boxes or other stabilizing structures are not permitted within, around or under the base tier (with the exception of the cake display board)

• Cake base shall be constructed of baked cake ingredients only (no cake dummies, or Styrofoam is permitted)

• Cake top design may not measure more than 15 inches in height from the top of the base cake tier used

• The design may incorporate the cake base tier. Design may not exceed a total of 11 inches in diameter (cake board and design elements included)

• Cake design may be no more than 21 inches in height total, including cake display board, base tier, cake top and all other design elements

• Design may not include lighting or non-edible ingredients, other than internal stabilizing dowels and/or posts

• Internal support structure must be recognized on an 8.5x11 profile sketch to be clearly displayed at contest

• 200 individualized cake samples must be included with their entry for judging purposes.

For more information, call (302) 734-8309 or visit