Katie Alexander is reminding all in Norwood to get ready for the town’s annual dessert contest, the event that kicks off the San Miguel Basin Fair each year. This year, the contest is July 13, with judging starting at 4 p.m., an hour earlier than usual.  

Alexander said entries should begin rolling in around 2 p.m., the day of the contest at the Norwood School’s all-purpose room. The public can participate in the dessert tasting around 5 p.m. 

“As soon as we’re done judging, we will serve,” she said. 

The dessert contest usually receives around 70 entries. Last year, though, entries were down, and the total number was about 55. 

Alexander said she wants to see more participation for no other reason than for the community to come together and have fun. 

She’s also created a new category: The Tanner Chesnut Brownie Category. It’s for children only, and it encourages them to make made-from-scratch brownies to showcase. 

Chesnut, who passed away a just over a year ago, won the dessert contest as a teenager. Alexander said she loved him and has the blessing of his family to now establish a category in memory of him. 

Each year, kids try and enter brownies in the dessert contest, but before there wasn’t a brownie category. But now, kids can enter their homemade brownies, and the contest can honor Chesnut at the same time, Alexander said. 

She added anyone thinking of possibly entering something — pie, cake, cheesecake or ice cream — should do so. According to her, some categories receive no entries at all. She said she wants all categories to have submissions for 2019. 

She said if the elderly want to participate and don’t have the ability to get out, someone would come and grab entries and transport them. 

She said the contest is open to men, as well as women. 

“We’ve got a guy in cheesecake that kicks butt every year,” she said. “He wins all of the time. … And, some guys make ice cream, like Grizz Parker. They make good ice cream.”

One of the biggest events in Norwood, the dessert contest brings together 250-300 guests annually. 

Alexander said she can’t wait to hand out prizes — the aprons she makes for the grand champion winners and the wooden spoons that Mary Fourney makes for the reserve champions. 

Alexander, who has been running the affair for decades on a volunteer basis, said she thanks all of the ladies who assist her in serving the desserts to the masses who come for the tasting. She’s also grateful for the 18 people who agree to judge each year (judges vary from year to year). Additionally, Carl McKinney has been emceeing for her as long as she’s run the show.

“It’s all blind taste-testing, nobody knows whose dessert is whose,” she said. “Boy, do we have fun. … It’s about getting people out and having fun. It’s special to see people celebrate.”