What:  Blueberry Bake Off and Chili Contest

When:  Saturday, Aug. 8  

Where:  Academy Hill School cafeteria

Entries must arrive between 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Judging starts at 1 p.m. Taste-testing of dishes available for $1 after judging.

WILTON — There will be blueberry pie and muffins entered in the Blueberry Bake Off at the Blueberry Festival but there are usually a few creative dishes too. 

Blueberry and lobster, blueberry lemonade, blueberry butter, chutney, taco dips, candy and puddings are just some of the past entries.


“I’m always amazed,” Katie Hallman, organizer, said. “And the kids that enter … it is just great.”

The chili contest can involve some traditional and some more creative dishes too like chili with moose meat or veggie chili, she said.  

After judging, if the cook is willing, dishes are cut into small portions for others to taste, Hallman said.  The $1 fee charged for tasting provides enough to help defray some costs for next year.

The cooking events started as a pie eating contest during the Blueberry Festival. It was just too complicated, Shannon Smith, Blueberry Festival organizer, said.

“A pie bake-off was much easier,” she said. “It started small but has grown over the past few years.”

There are usually about 60 blueberry dishes and 15 to 20 chili dishes entered. Enough so some judges are pretty full by the time they finish, Hallman said. But she would like to see more chili dishes entered.


Hallman was a participant herself until Smith encouraged her to take it over.

Smith picks judges from outside the area. Some are Emblem Club members from around and out of state, she said.

It brings new people who don’t know the participants to the Blueberry Festival and they get credit for their Emblem Club’s community participation, Smith said. They also receive a blueberry apron provided by the Blueberry Commission for their efforts.

The bake off and chili contests have 2 divisions, adult and 15 and under.

Bake off participants may submit one dish only in any or all of four categories: dessert, breakfast, main dish or miscellaneous.  Chili contest participants are limited to one entry and must bring their dish in a crock pot.

No entries are accepted after 12:30 p.m. to give time to arrange and set up the dishes prior to judging.  “We are pretty strict about that,” Hallman said.


Dishes are judged on originality, appearance and presentation. A Best of Show along with first, second and third place will be awarded in each of the categories.

About $500 in Chamber Bucks will be given as prizes, Smith said. These can be redeemed at any participating Franklin County Chamber member’s business.

Participants are asked to provide the Bake Off with recipes of their entrees as one day organizers hope to have a cook book printed.

“It is a really big event,” Smith said. “It’s amazing how people display their dishes.”

More information is available on the Blueberry Festival website at www.wiltonbbf.com or by calling Hallman at 778-4720.

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