IT was such a work of art, it moved from the realm of cake to monument.
At least briefly, anyway, before being eaten.
The five-tiered treat prompted dozens of children to break into a run when it was time for the towering creation to be cut as it sat beside the Queanbeyan River.
Decorated with platypi, ducks and black swans, in its own way it said: Happy birthday, Queanbeyan.
Before cutting the cake to celebrate the city's 175th birthday, mayor Tim Overall made the crowd laugh with his story about a referendum in which local residents were asked whether they wanted to be a part of Canberra, the national capital. ''It was a resounding 'no','' he said.
Newly anointed member for Eden-Monaro Peter Hendy, at one of his first functions as a parliamentarian, said Queanbeyan was a stand-alone city with its own culture, not just a suburb of Canberra.
He told the story of falling in love with the city 14 years ago when he decided to move his family there.
The mood was broken when indigenous woman Matilda House yelled that Mr Hendy had not paid respects to the traditional custodians of the land before giving his talk; there appeared to be some confusion because a welcome to country had already been presented but some of the speakers were also personally paying respects.
Melbourne Cup-winning jockey Wayne Harris spoke to the crowd and was photographed with residents holding this year's Melbourne Cup.
Madonna Barr, a Queanbeyan resident of four years, was so impressed she dashed back home to change into a race day outfit.
''In 10 years of fashions on the field I've never been this close to a Melbourne Cup,'' the former Melburnian said while having her photo taken.