ALBION – A dozen children anxiously wait on the Orleans Hub stage, waiting for the signal to begin.
They all brought cakes that they baked and iced themselves. Some brought their own ingredients to decorate, while others will just use what is provided – from candies such as M & Ms to candy bars, including candy worms and cookies.
And the second the signal is given, they have 20 minutes to complete a creative masterpiece.
Kristina Gabalski, 4-H program coordinator, said the Orleans County Fair first held its cake decorating competition in 2019.
“It was totally experimental because we didn’t know what point there would be in doing something like this,” she said. “We kind of sent probes early on. We realized that we had six or eight children and some of them worked as a team.
Gabalski said she modeled the cake decorating competition after the 4-H creative cake decorating competition at the Wyoming County Fair. She said it’s a totally fun event judged on creativity – not on the taste of the cake.
Most of the participants were between 8 and 11 years old, but there were also younger and older children.
Grace Gregoire, 16, of Murray and Joanie Gabalski, 17, of Byron competed last year as a team and said it was a lot of fun. They said they didn’t have a definite plan when they started decorating, but when they saw all that was available, “it all fell into place”. The duo had a three layer cake and they said on one of the layers they made a railroad track with candy that looked like LEGO pieces.
Ruth Kuipers, 10, of Byron took first place this year, spending most of her time decorating with piping and other icing she brought from home. She said she started decorating cakes two years ago and got interested in it thanks to her aunt.