Champaign County Fair cook off heats up

The Champaign County Fair celebrated Youth Day on Wednesdaywith 4-H events and activities for children.

Advisers and volunteers came together to put on a 4-H cook-off for 4-H kids and parents of all ages. The event has taken place for 14 years. This year, there were 18 entries.

“There were more entrees last year than desserts,” Becky Peters said. “This year, we’ve got more desserts than entrees.”

Peters’ daughter, 9-year-old Macy, submitted her peanut butter bars for the cook-off.

“(Cooking) is really complicated,” Macy said, pointing out that the right portion-size and ingredients are essential.

Participants competed for a $50 prize from Ward Construction for first place and a cookbook from Designing Women 4-H Club for second place. Prizes were also divided by age level.

Three school superintendents judged the dishes based on skill level.

“Everyone gets to sample the food for 50 cents each,” said Marcia Hatcher, a 4-H program assistant.

Megan Nolan won first in t he senior division for ages 14 to 18 for her pumpkin sheet cake. She also presented her first aid project at the state fair.

“I love (4-H) so much,” Nolan said. “It teaches me skills I can use outside of 4-H.”

Her mother, Monica Nolan, competed in the adult division with her chocolate zucchini bread.

“It’s nice that you get a copy of the recipes,” she said.

Emily Evans won second place in the senior division. She made a loaded baked potato casserole.

Siblings Kade Dillow, 11, and Addison Dillow, 9, show animals and woodworking projects with 4-H but stopped by the cook-off for the food and company.

“I like all parts of (the fair),” Addison said. She admitted she was mostly excited to sample the food.

Katie Setty won first in the adult division with her pineapple upside-cake and her daughters Gillian and Teagan Setty won first place in their divisions for pumpkin chocolate chip muffins and lemon bars, respectively.

“We are just enjoying the atmosphere (of the fair),” visitor Sarah Lichtenberg said.