State Fair Blog 2017 & 2018
Notifications, Winner Announcements, and more
For those who do not know about me or have not read my posts I want to give a brief background of how I became the chair of the competition and the hours I dedicate to it.
I took on the role in 2014 after I competed for a couple of years and was disappointed in my experience. My goal is and always has been to educate competitors and the local community on cake decorating, cake/sugar art competitions and to raise the bar for the state fair competition.
In order to achieve these goals I have to put my business on hold. I average about 200 volunteer hours per year putting it all together. Except the year I did the demo booth during the fair I added another 400 hours that year. That is 2- 3 months of full-time work. I fit it in through out the year with a big bulk before, during, and after the fair.
I have had a lot of success, a few failures, and I have learned a lot along the way. There are things I wish I could do more of, things that I wish I didn't have to do (this being one of them), and I always wish I had more time so I could do just one more thing.
In order to assist me and to make the work more efficient I created a series of spreadsheets for judging and keeping track of winners. The spreadsheets were a huge hit with the judges and did their job perfectly, including helping me find the error that was made. Yeah, SUCCESS!
The acrylic I use was designed to maximize table space for entries and it fits together like a puzzle. A puzzle that takes a bit of pre-planning so that I know where the entries will go and that the acrylic will fit the table configuration. There was a communication failure between myself and the person in charge of the floor plan for the building. So, I was in the position of designing the table layout the morning of intake, a job that takes hours to do correctly.
The failure occurred because I was juggling the tables and acrylic, verifying the entries were entered correctly, and figuring out the placement of the entries. The result was I had to move entries around and the entry number was swapped for two entries that one person entered. Their entries were judged correctly but the entries classes were wrong, therefore those entries scores went against different kinds of cakes. Example the fondant cake scores went against the buttercream cakes and vice versa.
Once I learned of the error I went back through EVERY entry and cross-checked each entry with the judges sheets, including reading comments to verify all of the numbers were correct. This took an entire day to recheck and fix but I was more than confidant I found where the error occurred and why. It isn't something that the entrant did that would have caused them to be disqualified. It was an error that I should have caught at intake and that I take responsibility for.
I fixed the numbers and recalculated the scores. Two entries were affected by the change and I have spoken with them personally. I fixed the problem immediately and I apologized to those involved.
I wrote this blog because some comments have surfaced on FB as a result of the error. I am sure that many of the comments are just friends defending friends but the comments matter. Either way their negative talk of me is untrue and the effect on future entrants can be significant.
It is obvious that they do not know all the work that has to be done or that I am pretty much the only VOLUNTEER that does it. I have some backup by staff but the bulk of it falls on me. Either way their negative talk of me is untrue and the effect on future entrants can be significant.
I would like to offer anyone who is not happy with the competition to do what I did in 2014 and to get involved personally and volunteer your time to help me make the competition better.
About this Blog:
This is where I will be posting the latest information on the Oregon State Fair Cake Decorating and Confectionery Arts Competition. As the chair I want to promote the competition, encourage people to enter, and educate everyone interested about cake and confectionery arts.