By Sarah Naron

Messenger Reporter

LOVELADY – Among the events taking place during the 36th annual Lovelady Lovefest on Saturday, Feb. 10 will be the fourth annual baking contest sponsored by the Weldon Civic Club.

“We have two divisions – adult and children,” explained contest coordinator Sherry Leggett. “Children is 12 and under, and adult is above the age of 12.”

Contestants in the children’s division can choose to enter either a cake or cookies, while adults can choose from bundt cakes, cookies, iced cakes and pies.

“We give prizes first through third, and usually, we give cooking products (such as) utensils,” Leggett said. “We give a cash prize for the grand prize winner in each division.”

All contestants must pay an entry fee of $5 and should arrive at the Lovelady Community Center with their entries no later than 9 a.m. Saturday.

“We start judging at 11,” said Leggett. “And then, we sell the cakes and pies and cookies and stuff after the judging, and the money that we raise from that goes for scholarships for the graduating high school seniors at Lovelady.”

As a result of the 2017 baking contest, the Civic Club was able to give $500 scholarships to four deserving LLHS seniors.

“We’ve done really well every year,” Leggett reported. “Our first year, we gave one scholarship; the next year, (we gave) two, last year, we gave four and this year, we’re hoping to give at least four.”

Leggett has been in charge of the contest each year since it began in 2013 and explained that the motivation to begin hosting the event was to help LLHS graduates looking to attend college or technical school.

“Every little bit of money helps,” Leggett pointed out. “It’s not that $500 will pay for your college, but it will help buy a few books, maybe.”

Individuals interested in entering the contest may pick up an application at Lovelady State Bank and Broxson Hardware.

For more information, contact Leggett at 936-636-7026.

For culinary enthusiasts whose area of specialty is a grill rather than an oven, the annual Lovefest Bar-B-Que, Chili & Pinto Bean Cooking Cook-off, which will be held Friday, Feb. 9 and Saturday, Feb. 10 outside the Lovelady Old Gym.

According to cook-off coordinator Mike Broxson, teams interested in competing in the cook-off will need to submit an application by the afternoon of Friday, Feb. 9.

“We generally fill up before the deadline,” Broxson said. “The spaces will fill up before that; we are limited on the space.”

Broxson said the contest is limited to 32 teams.

“We’re expecting a full crowd,” said Broxson. “We’ve already got about 25 teams.”

An entry fee of $200 is required from all teams.

“They can start checking in on Friday afternoon,” he said. “The Lovefest is going on all day Saturday, and we’ll be doing our cooking and judging beginning about 12 p.m.,” Broxson explained.

Contest categories include beans, brisket, chicken, chili and ribs. Judging typically continues until 4 p.m.

Cash prizes are awarded to the first-, second-, and third-place winners in each category. A $200 showmanship award will also be presented.

“We have a cook’s meeting on Friday night, and we actually have a Calcutta Friday night, where we auction off those teams,” Broxson said.

Tickets for door prizes will also be sold by the Lovelady Masonic Lodge No. 539, which sponsors the cook-off each year.

For more information on the cook-off, contact Broxson at 936-636-7337.

Sarah Naron may be reached via email at snaron@messenger-news.com.