Calling all bakers! Polish up your culinary skills for the Great American Foods Contest at the Finney County Fair. The featured entry for this year's specialty baking contest is layer cakes.

Celebrity judges Bobby Wild from Q-97 Radio and Rachael Gray from The Garden City Telegram will be savoring tempting layer cakes from youth and adult bakers alike. First-, second- and third-place winners in the adult and youth divisions will receive gift certificates for $100, $75 and $50, respectively.

Entries in the Great American Foods Contest must consist of a homemade layer cake, any flavor or variety. All entries must be a homemade cake of two or more layers with homemade icing from any favorite recipe. No mixes, commercial icing, purchased fondant or other prepared products are allowed.

Entries should be exhibited on a sturdy cardboard cake base, a cardboard circle covered with foil or a similar base inside a heavy-duty, resealable plastic bag or disposable cake box. All entries will be sold, so exhibit materials will not be returned.

No perishable ingredients (such as cream cheese, sour cream, uncooked eggs or other items which require refrigeration to prevent spoilage) are permitted in icings, fillings or other uncooked parts of the exhibit due to food safety considerations.

Recipes are helpful to the judges. Attach the recipe loosely to the bottom of the exhibit. Include your name and age, if youth. Recipes may not be returned.

Entries for the Great American Foods Contest will be checked in from 2 to 6 p.m. Thursday, July 29, at the Grandstand Meeting Room on the Finney County Fairgrounds. Judging is held at 9 a.m. Friday, July 30, with the bake sale following at 10 a.m.

The Family Community Education Council will sponsor the gift certificates to the top three winners in both the youth and adult divisions of this contest. The special awards will be presented at the County Fair Awards ceremony. Each exhibitor will also be rewarded with a cash premium at the close of the fair on Sunday, Aug. 1.

Now is the time to brush up your cake baking skills. Get out your favorite recipes or search for new ones. You've got just over two weeks to perfect a prize-winning entry.

For more information on the Great American Foods Contest, consult the Finney County Fair book or access the guidelines online at www.finneycountyfair.org. If you need to speak to someone about a fair question, call the Finney County Extension Office at 272-3670.

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