Best Bacon Dessert Cook Crowned at Iowa State Fair

DES MOINES, IA (08/11/2014)(readMedia)-- Cristen C. Clark of Runnells proved that when sweet and savory meet good things are bound to happen, as she won first place and a $1,000 cash award in the Beeler's Bacon Dessert competition judged Thursday at the 2014 Iowa State Fair.

Anita Van Gundy of Des Moines claimed second place and $500. Norita Solt of Bettendorf earned third place and $250.

Entries were judged on taste, bacon's contribution to the dessert and originality.

The Iowa State Fair Food Department is the largest of any state fair in the country. There are 226 divisions, 883 classes and over 10,500 entries at this year's Fair. Food judging is held in the Elwell Family Food Center sponsored by Blue Bunny.

Funnel Cake Sticks Win Iowa State Fair Value-Priced Food Contest

DES MOINES, IA (08/12/2014)(readMedia)-- The Funnel Cake Sticks took top honors in the New Food Contest at the 2014 Iowa State Fair. The tasty new treat bested four other value-priced finalists after receiving nearly 40 percent of the votes. The winning dish will be available throughout the Fair, August 7-17.

The champion treat is just $3 and offers a new twist on a Fair classic with funnel cake batter fried to golden perfection, served on-a-stick and topped with chocolate, strawberry or vanilla glaze. Fairgoers can find the sweet snack at Arnold's Concessions on Grand Avenue across from Hy-Vee Health and First Aid.

Arnold Blewer will receive an official Iowa State Fair plaque and a year's worth of bragging rights for his winning entry.

The four other finalists are also $3 and will remain available throughout the Fair at their respective locations:

  • Brownie Blitz: available at Bauders Ice Cream on the southwest side of the Agriculture Building
  • Caprese Salad On-a-Stick: available at the Salad Bowl in the Agriculture Building and Cultural Center Courtyard
  • Smoked Brisket and Bacon Mac N Cheese: available at the Rib Shack in Walnut Square
  • Three Buck Bowl: available at Steer N Stein on the Grand Concourse

Entries in the New Food Contest were limited to value-priced items for $3 or less. Prior to the start of the Fair, five finalists were chosen based on taste/flavor, presentation/appearance, value and creativity/originality. Fairgoers were invited to vote for their favorite finalist during the first four days of the Fair.

Mount Pleasant Pumpkin Grower Wins Iowa State Fair Contest

DES MOINES, IA (08/11/2014)(readMedia)-- The state's best giant pumpkin growers squared off in the Big Pumpkin competition judged Friday at the 2014 Iowa State Fair.

Martin Schnicker of Mount Pleasant won first place and a $1000 cash award for his 1,131-pound pumpkin.

Don Young of Des Moines earned second place and a $650 cash award with his 780-pound entry.

David Miller of Riverside received third place and a $450 cash award with his 768-pound pumpkin.

Marc Peterson of Clinton was awarded fourth place and a $250 cash award for his 715-pound pumpkin.

Jennifer Heeren of Allison received fifth place and a $150 cash award for her 414-pound entry.

The State Fair record of 1,323-pounds was set in 2010.

The winning entries will be on display outside the John Deere Agriculture Building throughout the Fair.

"Nothing Compares" to the 2014 Iowa State Fair, August 7-17. The Fairgrounds are located at East 30th and East University Avenue, just 10 minutes east of downtown Des Moines, and are open 7 a.m. to 1 a.m. each day of the Fair. Exhibit hours may vary. For more information, call 800/545-FAIR or visit

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