For one dollar, fairgoers got the chance to sample the food Wednesday during the 16th Annual 4-H Cook Off at the Champaign County Fair. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

4-H cook-off ‘best kept secret’ at the Champaign County Fair

The 16th annual 4-H cook-off, otherwise known as ‘the best kept secret at the fair,’ took place at the Champaign County Fair on Wednesday afternoon.

Kiley Horn, 4-H program assistant for Ohio State University Extension, said the event is popular because guests can taste test all of the dishes for just one dollar.

“It’s the best kept secret at the fair,” Horn said.

The event featured 14 dishes made by children, teens and adults. Dishes ranged from pasta salad to cheesecake.

The winning dish is selected by judges based upon three categories —appearance, taste and community opinion.

Kelsey DeMarco, 14, of Designing 4-H Club, said she has been competing the cook-off for, “the last couple of years.” This year she entered her lemon bread into the intermediate level of the cook-off for judging.

“I love baking,” DeMarco said. “I like that its really precise. If you add too much of anything, then you just completely ruin it and it’s done. You have to be really specific.”

While some participants love to bake, contestants like 10-year-old George Slone, of Fresh Start 4-H Club, have a different opinion on why they love the cook-off.

“I love to eat,” Slone said.

The Champaign County Fair, located at 384 Park Ave. in Urbana, will run through Friday. Doors open each day at 7 a.m. and close around 11 p.m.

Daily admission is $8 per person, which includes rides. Children under the age of 2-year-old will get in free, but an $8 ticket must be purchased if they will be participating in rides.

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