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'Largest Charity Bake Sale' at GNF Oct. 5

Many people want to win a blue ribbon at the fair. But "Cooks Who Care" will take a culinary contest a step farther at the start of the Georgia National Fair Oct. 5 in Perry, Ga.

The first-ever event will culminate in what GNF organizers call the "World's Largest Charity Bake Sale."

The state's best cooks will square off Oct. 3. "They'll be able to drive right to the Georgia Living Center to bring their entries," said Lora Arledge, GLC director.

Bake Sale Optional

The entries will be judged on Oct. 4 and sold on the opening day of the fair Oct. 5. "If they don't want to include their entry in the bake sale, they don't have to," Arledge said.

But she's betting the cooks will want to take part in the bake sale. They can designate the proceeds from their item to Meals on Wheels, Habitat for Humanity, the Cancer Relay for Life or another charity not yet determined.

"It's not too late to enter," Arledge said.

Enter Contest Now

Contestants can enter as late as Oct. 3. For the contest rules, call Arledge at 1-800-987-3247, extension 553. Or e-mail her at

The fair, which ends Oct. 14, "has a lot to offer everybody," said Willie Chance, a Houston County agent with the University of Georgia Extension Service.

"A big 4-H schedule includes a fun scarecrow contest, a challenge bowl and a homemade ice cream contest," he said.

Since the fair started in 1990, attendance has grown to 365,000. Last year, exhibitors came from 153 of Georgia's 159 counties.

(Dan Rahn is a news editor with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.)

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