Live Judging Food Competitions at State Fair

DES MOINES, Iowa – The Iowa State Fair is known for its food vendors, but one center hosts live judging competitions for people to see as it happens.

The Elwell Family Food Center is known for its ugly cake and decorated cake display.

There is also an ugly ice cream competition that brings people in to show off their skills. People signed up in advance for the event.

The ice cream is provided to competitors, and they bring in their own supplies like bunny ears, candy worms, etc.

Merill McNabb, staff worker said, “The objective is to make a creation of ugly ice cream, and they do that very well.”

There will be pictures that will be in the case once the competition is over and McNabb said the contestants will get to eat it after.

The process starts right when people walk in the door. According to staff worker Mary Robb, people get their item checked in at the front table.

Once it is inspected, the product is moved in to the refrigerator room to be stored until the time of the competition.

Over 120 competitions have happened since Wednesday, and around 50 more are still to come by the end of the fair.