Norwood’s dessert contest, which happens every year as the kick off the San Miguel Basin Fair, still happened in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic. This year didn’t see a packed house with standing room only in the school’s all-purpose room. Instead, organizer Katie Alexander and her team pulled off the annual event in their yard with social distancing, gloves, masks and more.

On Saturday, Alexander took entries in her driveway on Deer Mesa. Kids and adults both submitted their cookies and ice creams via drop-off in hopes of winning one of the coveted awards.

For drop cookies, grand champion was a tie between Melissa Romaine Merrill and Haley Franklin. Reserve champion for drop cookies was Elesha Hemphill.

In youth drop cookies, grand champion was Peyton Porter, and reserve champion was Kaliber Merrill.

For rollout cookies, grand champion was Dawna Morris, and reserve champion was Haley Franklin. There was no youth entry for rollout cookies this year.

In the filled cookies category, grand champion was Sarah Franklin. There was no other entry or reserve champion, but in youth filled cookies, grand champion was Savannah Baize.

The adult no-bake category saw Paige Franklin take grand champion. There was no other submission or reserve entry. In the youth division for no-bake cookies, the Baize sisters won grand champion, and Kalese Merrill was the reserve champion.

In youth ice creams, grand champion was Darcy Bray. She was also reserve champion.

The last several decades, Alexander, owner and operator of the Coach’s Mother, has created custom aprons for the event, which serve as grand champion awards. Mary Fourney also creates wooden spoons for the reserve awards annually, and this year they were dyed.

“Thank you to all of our sponsors,” Madison DiPaola, Alexander’s daughter, said in an online news release last weekend.

Now, 4-H kids are busy getting ready for this year’s version of the fair. In the past, 4-H members exhibited their animals throughout fair week, participating in shows for rabbit, goat, lamb, swine, beef and horse. Many folks in Norwood typically use the week to socialize, eat and see what the 4-H kids have been up to.

They also gravitate toward the open fair projects on display, which aren’t happening this year.

Working around the restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Fair Board has figured out a way for the community’s youth to both show and sell the animal projects they’ve been working with this year.

The livestock shows take place online Thursday through Saturday, though they’re closed to the public this year.  

The junior livestock auction happens Sunday at 10 a.m., which is open to the public. 

For the kids raising beef, the investment began last fall.

Cimmy Alexander’s kids — Dilyn and Joshua — are showing market steer and a breeding heifer this week. The Alexanders, a longtime 4-H and fair family — like many other families participating this year — spent most of the year preparing for the San Miguel Basin Fair. In fact, the kids plan their summers around it.

Alexander and the other families hope that the kids will be supported this weekend as they sell their projects.

“While these times are unprecedented, I’m thankful for our innovative Fair Board and our sponsors helping to make our online, phone and in-person auction a reality for all these hardworking kids,” she told The Norwood Post on Monday.