ITHACA, N.Y. -- Children ages 5-18 are invited to take part in the Holiday Bake-Off for Kids on Saturday, Oct. 17, 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m. at The Shops at Ithaca Mall. The event is hosted by the Tompkins County 4-H Program and is open to all interested youth regardless of 4-H membership.? ??

The annual Holiday Bake-Off for Kids encourages youth and adults to work together to create a culinary arts project. Each youth must have an adult helper/partner they'll work with to create their entry at home, then bring it to the contest. Categories for entries are:?Cookies, Cakes/Cupcakes, Breads/Muffins/Biscuits, Healthy Choices, Decorated Items?and?Candy.?Participants must pre-register and there is an entry fee of one non-perishable food item or $2 per exhibitor, to be donated to a local food pantry. ? ?

“Many families are baking more at home during the pandemic and this is a great opportunity for youth to show off some of their favorite recipes in a friendly competition with others who share their interest,” said Brenda Carpenter, 4-H Community Educator at Cornell Cooperative Event of Tompkins County and coordinator of the event. ?

Entries are judged in groups according to the age of the youth participant, and positive written feedback will be provided by the judges.??“The goal of the contest is to increase knowledge and appreciation of food around holiday celebrations, to build and strengthen the tradition of families baking together, to recognize skill and culinary arts talent, and of course to have fun!” Carpenter added. ?

4-H volunteers will accept entries from registered participants between 11:30 a.m. and 12 p.m. in the area between Target and Michael’s inside The Shops at Ithaca Mall.??Face masks must be worn and social distancing is required. Judging will start at 12 p.m. and awards will follow at 2:30 p.m. Participants may enjoy the mall, or other activities while their entries are being evaluated. All participants receive a certificate, and winners in each category receive a 4-H Golden Spoon award with “Best in Contest” earning a giant Golden Spoon Award. ?

Each entry must be accompanied by the recipe used to prepare it. For an entry form and participation guidelines, visit:? contact Brenda Carpenter, 4-H Extension Educator at? more information. The Shops at Ithaca Mall is a co-sponsor of this event.

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