Free cookie decorating is returning to the Whidbey Island Fair after its successful 2019 debut.
In the baking department, where baked goods contests are administered, fair-goers of any age can stop in and decorate a cookie to keep. Fair baking superintendent Debbie Neely said upwards of 500 people stopped by for a creative and delicious treat at the 2019 fair.
Adding cookie decorating to the last fair was Neely’s idea.
“I wanted to do something educational,” she said, adding that people really enjoy hands-on activities, especially when the product is so tasty.
The first year cookie decorating was available, Neely, who has had years of prior professional cake decorating experience, shared some tips and tricks with one fair-goer, a nurse, who wanted to keep decorating at home. Later, the nurse emailed and thanked Neely for her help.
Though often overshadowed by traditional fair show-stealers such as animals, baking and other crafts are an integral part of the fair experience, Neely said.
Every year, the fair administers contests for a variety of baked goods, including breads, cookies, pies and other treats. All entries are awarded a blue, red or white ribbon, with top entries receiving additional prizes.
Neely said judging the baking contest is a hoot every year. With hundreds of contestants, even eating only small samples of each baked good leaves the judges unable to eat another bite by the end of the judging period.
“We’re laughing so hard by the end of it,” she said.