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Old tradition returns to fair

An old tradition calling for participants to dust off their cookbooks was resurrected at the Decatur County Fair and Festival Friday night.

For the first time in many years, a cakes, pies and jams and jellies contest was held. Numerous spectators eyed the sweet treats that lined the table.

“We’re trying to bring back the feel of the old-fashioned fairs,” said Evelyn Clay, Chamber of Commerce president.

Clay said the public response to the event was good as a number of citizens reminisced about pie eating and baking contests they attending when they were younger.

The contest’s only stipulation was that all entries be “made from scratch.” Many families worked together in the kitchen preparing their submission for the contest.

“We love to bake,” said Patricia Pendleton and her two daughters, Johnna and Jordyn Taylor, who submitted their German chocolate cake. The youngest constant in contest came from 7-year-old Peyton Dodson, who entered his pineapple pound cake. He said he made it all by himself.

Entries were judged on different criteria for each of the three categories.

Pies were judged on flavor, filling, crust and overall appearance. Cakes were judged on flavor, inside creativity, appearance, creativity, topping and decoration. Jams and jellies were judged on flavor, texture, appearance and originality.

Serving as judges for the contest were Gary Phillips, owner of Dairy Queen; Marjorie Mayfield, county human resources manager; and Charles Tyson, former Bainbridge city manager.

The first-place winner of the cake contest was Sheila White for her hummingbird cake made with pineapple, banana, walnuts and a cream cheese icing. Second place went to Diann Smith with her red velvet cake with cream cheese icing. Third place went to Jennell Bates for her coconut cake with seven-minute frosting.

Paula Backey received the first place in the pie contest with her buttermilk pie—a custard pie made with pecans and coconut. Second place went to Carolyn Sickmon for her buttermilk pecan pie. Third place went to Sheila White for her Carolina apple pie.

Sheila White won first place in the jams and jellies contest with her wild plum jelly she said was made with plums collected in local forests. Second and third place went to Gloria Coppinger for her scuppernong jelly and loquat jelly.

The overall blue ribbon for best entry was awarded to Sheila White for her hummingbird cake.