Bang, it's a girl! Gender-reveal parties bring excitement to proud parents' big news

So much for simply telling people the gender of your baby. Gender reveal parties take it to a whole other level.

From cannons to cakes, there are many creative ways to reveal your baby's gender

Pink powder was shot out of a cannon to reveal the gender of Ashton Smallman's baby. (Submitted by Ashton Smallman)

Krista MacLellan was certain she was having a baby boy. It was mostly a hunch, she said, but also the symptoms were the same as her last pregnancy and, well, that turned out to be a boy.

She had most of her friends and family convinced it was another boy as well.

She and her husband didn't even bother discussing girl names.

That's why MacLellan was so surprised it was pink powder — not blue — that blasted out of the cannon, and 25 of her closest friends and relatives screamed in delight.

It also helps explain why gender reveal parties have become so popular.

"We just thought it was a fun way to celebrate with friends and family," said MacLellan, who is due on Oct. 14. "It didn't even enter my brain it was a girl so I was in complete shock when we saw the pink smoke."

Krista MacLellan's baby gender reveal party


3 years ago
Gender reveal parties 0:21

There are many different gender reveal methods — smashing a pinata to reveal either pink or blue confetti, opening a box releasing either pink or blue balloons into the air, or cutting a cake to reveal either a pink or blue filling to name a few.

Candi Clements, owner of Candi's Cakes and Creations in Charlottetown, said she gets about a dozen requests a month for gender-reveal cakes. It usually happens like this: the ultrasound technician gives the couple a sealed envelope with the baby's gender written inside. The couple gives it to Clements who, sworn to secrecy, mixes in the pink or blue.

We just thought it was a fun way to celebrate with friends and family.— Krista MacLellan

MacLellan had a backup cake ready at her party in Rice Point in case her powder blaster didn't work. For that, she gave the envelope to her nephew, who filled the blaster with the right colour powder.

Ashton Smallman of Alma, P.E.I., also used a powder cannon for her reveal party. Unlike MacLellan, she and her immediate family already knew the gender, but there were still plenty of "yippin' and yellin'" from the guests, who were all dressed in either pink or blue, when the pink smoke shot out.

Ashton and Kenton Smallman of Alma had a fishing theme for their gender reveal party. (Submitted by Ashton Smallman)

Smallman, who is due in August, said she and her husband were looking for a special way to announce their big news to family and friends when the idea of a gender-reveal party came up. 

"We've been kind of seeing it the last couple years pop up here and there. It seems to be more of a thing and it looked like it was fun to do so we thought, 'why not do it?'"

Fishing theme

Smallman's gender reveal party coincided with the start of angling season on P.E.I., so she and her husband made it a fishing theme — complete with fish and chips, goldfish crackers and a Gone Fishin' cake.

"It was exciting, everyone was really happy and celebrating," she said.

Ashton Smallman's baby gender reveal


3 years ago
Gender reveal party 0:13

MacLellan said she realizes gender-reveal parties may not be for everyone. They didn't have a gender-reveal party for their first child, but she's glad they did it this time.

"I think some people do kind of have a negative view of them, like maybe they're a bit over the top which, you know, maybe it is, but our view of it was that we were throwing a party for our friends and family and there was no expectations to bring gifts or anything like that. It's not a baby shower."

And as for what they'll name their new daughter? There probably won't be a party to reveal that, MacLellan said.

"I have to keep something a surprise."

Krista MacLellan's husband, Regan, cuts the cake to show the pink middle — and the gender of their baby. (Submitted by Krista MacLellan)

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Shane Ross is a former newspaper and TV journalist in Halifax, Ottawa and Charlottetown. He joined CBC P.E.I.'s web team in 2016.