Some of the desserts that won the coveted Blue Ribbon at the Butler County Fair. BRENNEN KAUFFMAN/CONTRIBUTED

Blue-ribbon pie at the Butler County Fair fetches over $1,000 in record-breaking auction

After a bidding war that left onlookers gasping, a first-place Georgia peach pie sold at the dessert auction for $1,350. The previous record for a dessert sale at the fair had been $525. Two other desserts — an angel food cake and a pineapple upside down cake — were also sold for more than the previous record.

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Lois Jacobs submitted the winning bid. She said that she loves peach pie and is a regular attendee of the Ohio State Fair’s auctions.

“It’s amazing to see how many good bakers we have around here,” Jacobs said.

The judging for the dessert competition took place Monday and Tuesday. The twenty-nine pies and cakes that won their individual categories were then sold during an auction Tuesday night. Half the winnings were kept by the baker, and the other half will go towards renovating the Art Hall, where the auction took place.

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Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones and State Sen. Bill Coley, R-Liberty Twp., both bid aggressively on the desserts. The two elected officials purchased nine of the desserts up for auction, which they planned to donate to the Serve City Homeless Shelter in Hamilton.

“The homeless get to eat the best pies and cakes in Butler County. Isn’t that great?” Jones said.

Jones and Coley also made the unusual move of donating money on top of other people’s bids. In addition to the desserts they bought, nine others had their winning bids boosted by the two of them.

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Lori Schwartz is one of the superintendents who helped organize the auction. She said that the record-breaking bids were surprising, but the average bids were also much higher than they have been in years past.

“It’s up across the board for sure,” she said.

Judy Baker submitted three desserts in the competition, including the record-setting Georgia peach pie.

“I’m still in shock,” Baker said after the auction. “It’s almost embarrassing.”

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