Trent Ernst, Editor
The first time it happened was in 2007.
That was the year that the first ever Best Baker Contest was held, and, for a while there, it looked like the last.
But the idea, spearheaded by Joanne Liebelt, has come around again, and so the second ever best ever baking contest will be held on December 3, 2015.
Right now, Liebelt is trying to drum up entries in the contest. There are five categories: tarts, cookies, squares, cupcakes and the Gingerbread house building contest. “I’ve been talking to businesses trying to get them to enter,” says Liebelt. “The museum, the clinic, the pharmacy…the entries don’t have to be traditional. I suggested to the museum they could do a cave. The clinic could do a hospital, the pharmacy could do a drug house…”
Winners of each category can win $100. Each category prize was donated by a local business. There are a few rules, including no whipped cream toppings and please list allergy alerts, especially for nuts. The entries will be judged by mayor and council on taste and presentation.
After the contest, the remaining baking will be sold or, in the case of the Gingerbread houses, auctioned off to raise funds for the Tumbler Ridge Christmas Hamper Project. Liebelt says she’s doing this to try and encourage more community participation. “It is a chance for everyone in the community to come out and support the arts council, the food bank, the Holly Jolly night, see the lighting of the Christmas tree and enter a contest. Way back when, we had all these events that used to happen, but now a lot of them have gone away, and there’s a lot of fighting between the groups. We need to foster community spirit.”
Eight years ago, Ann Penner walked away with a win in all three categories at the time (Tarts, Squares and Slices and Cookies). Aspiring local bakers can breath easier, knowing that Ann and husband Frank moved out of town a few years back, meaning there’s no chance of a repeat victory for her.
To enter, aspiring bakers can drop off their entries to room four at the Community Centre between 3:00 and 5:00 pm on December 3.
And for non-bakers? “Instead of doing your own baking, you can come and buy some Christmas treats,” says Liebelt.