ALBION — About a dozen children wait anxiously on the Orleans Hub stage, waiting for the signal to begin.

All have brought cakes they baked and frosted themselves. Some have brought their own ingredients to decorate with, while others are simply going to use what’s provided for them — anything from candies such as M&Ms, to treats including candy worms and cookies.

And the second the signal is given, they have 20 minutes to make a creative masterpiece.

Kristina Gabalski, 4-H program coordinator, said the Orleans County Fair first conducted its cake decorating contest in 2019.

“It was totally experimental because we didn’t know how much interest there would be in doing something like this,” she said. “We kind of sent out some feelers early on. We realized we had six or eight kids and some of them worked in teams.”

Gabalski said she patterned the cake decorating contest on the 4-H creative cake decorating contest at Wyoming County Fair. She said it’s a totally fun event judged on creativity — not on how the cake tastes.

Most of the participants were between the ages of 8 to 11 but there were some younger and older kids as well.

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 set plan when they started decorating, but when they saw everything which was available “everything fell into place.” The duo had a three-layered 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 won first place this year, spending most of her time decorating with piping and other frosting she brought from home. She said she started cake decorating two years ago and got interested in it thanks to her aunt.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1