Rayanne McClure named top cake artist

Anna McClure, 12, was crowned grand champion at the Montezuma County Fair cake-decorating contest on Tuesday. Enlargephoto

Tobie Baker/The Cortez Journal

Anna McClure, 12, was crowned grand champion at the Montezuma County Fair cake-decorating contest on Tuesday.

To a round of applause, 12-year-old Rayanne McClure was crowned the winner of the Montezuma County Fair cake-decorating contest.

Her face lit up when awarded the grand champion ribbon on Tuesday, July 29.

“It was a hard decision,” said the judge. “I wish I could decorate cakes this good.”

The youngest competitor, McClure glanced at her 4-H Unit 7 rival, Cassidy King, when it was announced that contestants had 10 minutes remaining in the hourlong contest.

“I wanted to see how smooth her icing was,” McClure said afterward, with icing on her forearm.

In the waning moments of the contest, McClure hurriedly squeezed several more dabs of icing onto the top of her pink and purple floral motif design.

“I love making flowers,” she said. “They’re pretty.”

Each contestant was required to include a flat surface flower, a border and side trim, and then was judged on their knowledge and skills.

“There’s a lot of added pressure to decorate the cake correctly when under a time limit,” said contest superintendent Merlene Lanier.

McClure said the toughest aspect of the contest was “icing the cake.” She prepared by decorating four cakes at home.

Eligible to advance to the Colorado State Fair cake-decorating contest in Denver, McClure instead will travel with her family to watch her older brother, Elijah Winkles, graduate from Marine Corps boot camp in San Diego.

All the contestants’ cakes will be on display throughout the Montezuma County Fair. About 75 people submitted entries into multiple county fair contests, including quilts, rockets, canned goods, art and of course, cakes.

tbaker@cortezjournal.com