Who will win the great Gympie Show pikelet competition?
STOP laughing, this is serious - deadly serious.
Winners may be grinners but there is nothing light hearted about the rivalry that takes place at the Gympie Showgrounds at this time of year.
Take, for example, the contest which will define the friendship between Gympie floor covering retailer Mal Dodt and his arch rival, Goomboorian dairy farmer Bradley Blackwood.
Well, it might be a little bit light hearted - just a little.
Mr Blackwood was floored last year in the great Gympie Show competition which saw the two occasional cooks front up to each other in a contest so bitter they could not even bring themselves to compete in the same event.
"I entered the pikelets competition and came first,” Mr Dodt said.
"He entered another competition and he won a Highly Commended, which I call second place.”
Mr Dodt is the one doing all the grinning in the photograph (right) of him and Mr Blackwood.
"My pikelets will be lighter and fluffier than last year and he's entered the muffin and damper event.
"He's on a farm and we had a damper cook-off recently, with international judges (some mates from New Zealand).
"So it's official,” he said.
"The only problem,” he admits reluctantly, is "Brad won”.
"But the judges were friends of his so I'm going to appeal to a higher authority as soon as I can find one, or make one up,” he said. "And I confidently predict my pikelets will do better than his muffins and damper.”
The contest is a new Show tradition, only a couple of years old but already established as such fun that it is bound to last.
Mr Blackwood, however, says he has some plans of his own. And Mr Dodt may not find them all that amusing.
Mr Blackwood's secret weapon is sabotage. "The competition is so fierce, I'm seeing him tomorrow to pick up his entries and take them out to the Show for him,” Mr Blackwood said yesterday. "I might just take a bite out of his entries before I deliver them.”
And now, in more deadly serious Gympie Show news...
KITCHEN combat will be serious too, as the last cooking entries come in for the Gympie Show.
Entries close for many events at 10am today, so contestants cannot afford to leave things any later than now.
One event attracting a lot of interest, even at official levels, is the potato bread event, which will involve a nifty new use for mashed potato and grated cheese.
"The girls from the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries will be competing in force,” cakes steward Anne Long said yesterday.
The schools will also be cooking it out in the kitchen battleground, especially those with cooking in the curriculum.
The judges have already been through the cake decorating and, although it is supposed to be a secret at this stage, a hint is that "everybody needs a farmer”.
Apparently there is one cake decorated with cows, ducks and chooks with eggs and pigs and horses, but it would be wrong to reveal more, we are told.
Fruit and vegetable entries have already started to come in at bulk rates and any late entries have to be officially accepted by 10am, with doors open from 6.30am.
One entry that has tended to stand out is the Gympie State High School's Paddock to Plate display.
The competition is especially, well, competitive in that part of the show, with $970 in prize money and trophies on offer.
About 40 business are involved in donating some of the prizes.
All the livestock events are hotly but respectfully contested as farmers and graziers from around the region use the Gympie Show to catch up with old mates and business contacts and of course, to win as many events as they can.
Equestrian events are wonderful to watch as horses and riders work together to become one entrant in a contest of grace and style.
The feral and high class ute judging is a new and exciting event, but the big noise is bound to be the motorcycle and ute barrel racing, less graceful perhaps but stimulating to the point of deafness for those close up.
Honey rivals will be sticking together at their Pavilion display, with sweet prizes for the winners.
Ultimately there is the hot competition for your Show dollar, especially from the sample bag and food outlets around the grounds.