Dishes with Meaning Featured in State Fair Cooking Contest

DES MOINES, IA (08/23/2017) (readMedia)-- Andrea Spencer of Stanton won first place and a $50 cash award in the Christmas Favorites competition, judged Saturday at the 2017 Iowa State Fair.

Belinda Myers of Osceola claimed second place and $30. Julie Petersen of Knoxville earned third place and $20.

Judges also awarded Honorable Mention to Robin Tarbell-Thomas of Centerville.

Entrants were challenged to combine a special food that they prepare for Christmas time with a short story explaining why the food has a special significance.

Entries were judged on taste, appearance and the accompanying story.

The Iowa State Fair Food Department is the largest of any state fair in the country. There were 177 divisions, 769 classes and over 9,856 entries at this year's Fair. Food Department judging was held in the Elwell Family Food Center sponsored by Blue Bunny Ice Cream.


Frequently ranked as one of the top events in the country, the Iowa State Fair is the single largest event in the state of Iowa and one of the oldest and largest agricultural and industrial expositions in the country. Annually attracting more than a million people from all over the world, the Iowa State Fair located at East 30th and East University, just 10 minutes from downtown Des Moines is Iowa's greatest celebration with a salute to the best in agriculture, industry, entertainment and achievement. "Nothing Compares" to State Fair Thrills, August 10-20, 2017. For more information, visit