Third annual Cakewalk hosted by West Tisbury School fifth grade

Katie Morse and Alley Estrella cakewalk around the 12 stations, waiting for the music to stop and a number to be drawn. — Photo by Susan Safford

The Ag Hall was full of life, noise, and people — as many as 300 — Saturday evening at the third annual Cakewalk hosted by this year’s fifth grade at the West Tisbury School. The buzz in the building was reminiscent of that heard along the midway just yards away from the building’s south end during the Ag Fair in August.

Intended to appeal mostly to young children, there were games of skill, games of chance, face painting and cupcake decorating, a raffle, and a silent auction.

And then there was the cakewalk, actually two of them, the centerpieces and the namesakes of the event. To the beat of music played over the P.A. system, twelve cakewalkers stroll, sashay, or saunter around 12 stations marked on the floor in a 15-foot-wide circle, much like the face of a watch. When the music is stopped suddenly, a number between 1 and 12 is drawn and the walker on that station wins a cake. More than four dozen cakes — many of them cleverly decorated, some of them zanily — were baked and donated by fifth-graders and their friends and families.

Parents of current fifth-graders started the event three years ago as a continuing fundraiser for the class’s trip to England in 2015, when they are in eighth grade. There will be four more cakewalks, then, before the class heads overseas. The cost of the trip for the students and chaperones totals more than $40,000, in the end, so fundraising — early and often — is at a premium.