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Enter your turtley treats for prizes

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Bake up a 'turtley' dessert to enter Saturday's Turtlefest Turtley Treat Baking Contest at Station Arts Centre.

The annual contest - held every year since the original Turtlefest - is open to children ages 12-and-under, and anyone 13-and-older in a combined youth and adult division.

The rules are simple.

Only one entry per person, although multiple family members can enter.

"It's a family activity," said Deb Beard, Station Arts Centre general manager. "You could have mom or dad put one in for the adults, and then two or three of the kids in the family that will submit samples of what they've made. It's fun because it's a family activity. We've also had entries from Woodingford, so it's something for everybody that way.

"It's food... and you can't miss with food."

Entries must be made from scratch, and submitted to judges on cardboard or disposable plate. Recipes must list all ingredients, quantities and preparation instructions (including whether refrigeration is required).

"It can be anything," said Beard. "And it doesn't have to be cooked... baked. It can be a 'candy' thing. It's just left up to the imagination of the kids and what they want to do - and they have a lot of fun with it."

Over the years they've seen everything from 'green and turtley' to 'things totally unrelated,' said Beard with a laugh.

"But man are they good! They all taste very good actually. Last year, very interesting, the first place winner for youth/adults was a key lime sugared donut, which was amazing."

Bring the entries in person to the Station Arts Centre between 10-11 a.m. Saturday, with judging to follow between 11 a.m. - 12 p.m. Winners will be announced between 12-12:30, depending how many entries they have and how long it takes to judge, and prizes awarded (typically close to 12 noon).

Judges typically include a representative from the Tillsonburg fairboard, Farmer's Market, sponsors (including Sobeys), and politicians.

Entries in the two divisions are judged based on four categories for a possible score of 100. The criteria includes flavour (eg. aroma, taste, balance of flavour), texture (eg. moist and tender, not soggy or dry), inside characteristics (eg. evenly baked, no air pockets, etc) and outside characteristics (consistency, shape, size, overall appeal).

"Some people do a wonderful presentation, other people make something that has a wonderful flavour to it, so anybody can win, which is nice. And the neat thing is, we had everybody from age 4 to 84, we had adults, we had kids, little guys, it was wonderful.

"We enjoy doing it every year and we look forward to the submissions that we're going to have," Beard concluded with a smile. "And the samples we get to taste."

Applications are available online at the Station Arts Centre website and the town's Turtlefest website.

If you're stopping by the Station Saturday, make sure you visit the Farmer's Market on Bridge Street, open 8-12 Saturday mornings.

cabbott@postmedia.com

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