IMPERIAL - Valley residents are invited to show off their skills while competing in the special one-day contests offered daily at the California Mid-Winter Fair & Fiesta.
It’s free to enter, pre-registration is not required, and cash prizes are available. Entrance to the fair is also free if you enter the contest.
“We’re disappointed we didn’t get enough entries, because I doubt that people really know about it,” contest coordinator Janet Forney said. “It’s the only thing that you can enter for free and win so much.”
“People think I can’t enter because I’m not good enough but it’s not true,” she added. “It’s a fun thing and we’d like to have more people enter.”
There are adult cooking contests for ages 18 years and older offered daily with the exception of Saturday while the remaining youth contests for 17 years and younger are Saturday and Sunday.
Contestants should bring the dish as well as a copy of the recipe. Each person is limited to one entry, and both amateurs and professionals can compete.
All the adult contests will be held in the Lifestyles Building at 6 p.m. on weekdays and at 2 p.m. on the weekend.
The week’s remaining adult contests include one’s favorite Mexican dish on Tuesday, French dish on Wednesday, Greek dish on Thursday, Italian dish on Friday and favorite pie on Sunday.
Each dish should serve six, and the pie must be a whole pie. In the adult contest, first prize receives $50, second prize receives $25 and third prize receives $15.
Contest sponsors provide the judges who review and taste the entries before determining a winner based 40 percent on flavor, 30 percent on appearance, 20 percent on creativity and 10 percent on display.
After the entries are awarded, fair visitors can taste and finish off the dishes.
“Nobody goes home with food hardly ever afterwards,” Forney said while laughing.
The fair’s special one-day contests have been going on for more than 20 years, Forney said, and she started the youth contests a few years ago.
“Not all kids raise animals so I thought it would be fun for them,” she explained.
The remaining youth contests are a “duct tape creation” contest at 1 p.m. Saturday and a favorite magical dessert contest at 2 p.m. Sunday. All the youth contests are held in the Youth Building.
The duct tape creation contest will be judged on workmanship, creativity, appearance and difficulty. Youth contest cash prizes are $25 for first place, $15 for second and $5 for third.
“It’s just fun to get people involved and seeing the reaction of kids when they win,” Youth Building Attendant Debbie Nilson said.
Victoria Carrillo entered her “Midnight Magic Coconut Cupcakes” contest Sunday and said baking is a hobby for her. After winning past contests at the fair, she said the money she wins helps her pay for school supplies in college.
Brawley resident Anthony Grummett entered his spiced chuck roast with oolong rice which garnered second place Sunday. He’s interested in going into the culinary arts and also plans on entering the Italian dish contest later this week.
A pulled pork dish by Oscar Pemberton took first place and Anna Brinkman’s “Magical Orange Cupcakes” won first place for cupcakes.
Visit www.californiamidwinterfair.com for more information.
Staff Writer Chelcey Adami can be reached at 760-337-3452 or email@example.com.
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