One of the multitude of reasons Louisville is the place to be is the annual Kentucky State Fair. Local blackberry bourbon honey concoctions, cultivated by the sweetest Kentucky bees. Coffee of the likes of Raspberry Royale and Amaretto. Hot brown on a stick better than you could possibly imagine. Striking photography. Miniature, intricately designed houses beckoning towards you with large-scale Southern charm. There is genuinely something for everyone at our fair, and Kentuckians adore it all.
I love every bit of it, but there is no doubt that my scene is where the blue ribbon desserts gather the spotlight. First thing's first. I highly recommend indulging in fair delicacies at the start. Otherwise, the glorious sights of Kentucky's greatest saccharine goods will be enough to pique massive mouthwatering hunger!
Plus, why ever say no to Derby Pie?
Deliciously fried Derby Pie, perfected with a sprinkle of sugar and drizzle of raspberry sauce. Freshly frying the conglomeration of chocolate, nuts, and breading together melts all the magic of Derby into a champion treat.
Here is a preview of the splendor that awaits you in the greatest part of Kentucky's State Fair:
Nancy Harper's Peanut Butter Heath placed second, but just the sound of it wins first in my mind.
Mary Casey's award-winning peanut brittle
Steve Wheatley with his eye on the prize for next year.
Steve Wheatley won four years ago. This year, he entered both peanut brittle and toffee. Mr. Wheatley is one of many passionate fairgoers who takes true Kentucky pride in his baking. Look out for his submissions next year! Mr. Wheatley already has wheels churning for a new batch of winning peanut brittle, that in 2015 will be soaked in bourbon.
Summertime Fruit Cake, by Linda Bailey
Because all you need is love.. and amazing cake! Jeffrey Ott won second place with this fun bridal creation.
Melissa Zurkuhlen, first prize for a Beginner Theme Cake
A winning cake, as pictured above, manages to combine all the creativity of baker artistry with the sentimentality of life. My family is not one for camping by the lake, and yet, this cake still seems relatable and reminds me of that ineffable sense of home.
Robyn Dale, second place
J. K. Rowling would be proud. Dragons are very in this year!
As envisioned/decorated by Melinda Polly
Plehn's Bakery won fourth place for this epic dragon cake. I loved this one!
Heitzman Bakery won second! This phoenix is all sorts of Harry Potter fantastical.
Cassidy Adwell, first place, with the octopus birthday cake that wins me over every year! How can you not smile when you see an adorable octopus? And birthdays are entire smile-inducing occasions.
Jenny Phelps with a first prize-winning Hummingbird Cake
Pamela Ryan's entry for "Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookie" might not have won any ribbons, but I would gobble these cookies in a happy heartbeat.
Part of the atmosphere is debating about which entries were your favorites that you feel merited some more award swag. Like Mint Julep cookies.
Casey Leanhart went straight for Kentucky's soul with some Derby-inspired Mint Julep Cookies.
Jennifer Adwell's bridal cake fit for a Disney princess won second place.
Greta Sparks won first for this lavish wedding cake that could have been made from a wish, granted by a stellar genie.
Make sure you check out all these fabulous baked creations this weekend! And in honor of this Louisville.com sweet tooth, please do yourself a favor. Get the fried Hot Brown with the fried Derby Pie beforehand. It's the proper Kentucky thing to do.
Cover photo: shutterstock.com/Catz; All Other Photos: Courtesy of Julie Lamb