Apple pie takes the cake at the Douglas County Fair

Sharon Vanderheiden took first place with an apple pie at the Douglas County Fair pie judging on its second day, Wed, Aug 18, on the Hubbard Radio Stage.

From left, judges Kris Valentine, Chelsea Lee, and Brett Grinager taste several pies to decide the Douglas County Pie contest winner. Darla Engstrom hosted the contest, far right.

The Douglas County Fair's pie judging contest was a hit on Wednesday, Aug. 18.

It took place on the Hubbard Radio Stage and was hosted by Darla Engstrom, a member of the fair board directors. The judges were Brett Grinager, fair board member, and Chelsea Lee and Kris Valentine from KIK-FM.

The judges awarded first place to Sharon Vanderheiden, who was absent when the award was presented.

Kathy Betterman of Garfield took second and third, with her blueberry pie taking second and her cherry pie taking third. Her secret to a good pie is thick butter slices under the crust.


Kathy Betterman wins second and third place at the Douglas County pie judging. Second place went to her blueberry pie, and third, went to her cherry pie. From Left, Darla Engstrom, Kris Valentine, Chelsea lee, Kathy Betterman, and Brett Grinager. (Thalen Zimmerman / Alexandria Echo Press)

Valentine went into the judging with a strategy to not play favorites, “I couldn’t just pick the pie based off my favorite flavors. I had to be objective.”

Kris Valentine (left) and Chelsea lee (right), on-air talents at KIK FM help judge the Douglas County Pie Contest sponsored by their radio station. (Thalen Zimmerman / Echo Press)

The pie judging was one of many events on the first full day of the Douglas County Fair. Tickets can be purchased at the gate, but ordering online at will get you through the line faster.

Thalen Zimmerman of Alexandria joined the Echo Press team as a full-time reporter in Aug. 2021, after graduating from Bemidji State University with a bachelor of science degree in mass communication in May of 2021.
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