Did you know that baking and food competitions were among the first events featured in county fairs across the nation?

It's true! The features were created to showcase locally-grown produce and original local recipes. Before long, these competitions grew to be as popular and anticipated as the fairs themselves. This was especially true of the competitive baking event!

According to The Blue Ribbon Baking Group, only female competitors were allowed to participate in the baking event during its early years.

Recipe contests used to be considered a women’s competition. In 1903 one writer called the contests 'monuments to housewifery.' Now the contests have grown to include everyone, inspiring generations of families to enjoy competing in this age old American tradition.

-The Blue Ribbon Baking Group

More than a century later, novice and skilled confectioners of all ages continue to have their culinary creations critiqued by local food gurus. Year after year, they're competing for the sweet satisfaction of knowing their cookies, cakes, pies, breads, and tarts are the best in their county.

Fun fair fact: Cotton Candy had another name! When it debuted at the World's Fair in 1908, its creators, William Morrison and John Warton, originally named their carnival treat "Spun Sugar."


On a grander scale, The Blue Ribbon Group finds America's fairs are champions of "the newest, the biggest, and the best" advancements in everything from horticulture and culinary expression, to artisan and livestock exhibits. For these reasons and more, county fair competitions, like rodeos, remain a vibrant Idaho tradition.

With the 137th Canyon County Fair officially in the books, we're excited to test out and devour several of its award-winning recipes! 

14 Award-Winning & Delicious Canyon County Fair Recipes to Bake Yourself

Gallery Credit: Ryan Antoinette Valenzuela

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