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Pound-cake contest, Art Fest to highlight local talents


By Jason A. Smith
Times Correspondent

  The culinary and artistic stylings of area residents will soon be on display in downtown McDonough.

  Festivities will kick off April 26 with the Third Annual Pound Cake Contest at the Courthouse Square Market, at 15 Griffin St., from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. Henry County’s artistic community will take center stage April 27 from noon to 5 p.m. for a Spring Art Fest on the Square.

Attendees at the 2011 Spring Art Fest speak with an artist about their paintings.                                             File Photo

  McDonough Arts president Jea Gackowski said art, jewelry and baked goods will be among the featured items for the festival, which is designed as a partnership with local merchants.

  “I don’t think people realize there are 3,000 free parking spaces around the Square,” she said. “People are really wanting good, quality items for their family, so they would much rather prefer to shop local. It will be all hand-crafted items, and a lot of local artisans. We’ll also have a silent auction available, and a special kids area.”

  The festival will also include an artist market featuring students from Henry County Schools. Gackowski added that proceeds from the event will benefit art and music teachers in the county.

“All of the events put together are the reason we made our third donation to the county for the art teachers,” she said. “Now we’re working on our fourth. We have partnered with Henry County art teachers, and they’ll have art demonstrations there as well. We’ll have a stage hosted by DannyRay as DJ and emcee, along with local performers and groups.”

  Regarding the Pound Cake Contest, Gackowski said the Courthouse Square Market, owned by State Court Judge Jim Chafin and his wife Sally, provides a good location to showcase small businesses in the area.

“McDonough Arts has been the catalyst to bring the Pound Cake Contest to the Courthouse Square Market,” she said. “The Courthouse Square Market is really a great venue for a business incubator.”

  One of the highlights of the contest will be an appearance by State Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black, who will give opening remarks for the third annual event. Black said he is looking forward to seeing local residents at the contest.

  “Georgia is blessed to have a large number of thriving community farmers markets and the Courtyard Square Market is no exception,” said Black. “This will be a great opportunity to meet the local vendors, artisans and consumers that are working to support our local economy.”

  Judging for the contest will begin at 3 p.m., and Commissioner Black will announce the winners at 4:30 p.m. Categories will include Southern Pound Cakes – men’s and ladies’ divisions – and the Anything Chocolate Pound Cake Division, which is combined for both men and women.

  First-place winners in each category will receive $50 in cash and a blue ribbon. Second-place winners will receive red ribbons.

  Sam Pagan, Owner and Chef of Seasons Bistro will be a celebrity judge for the contest. Additional judging will be conducted by past contest winner, Rita Green and the Rev. Dr. Olin McBride, minister at McDonough Presbyterian Church.

  In a press release issued by McDonough Arts, McBride said his southern upbringing helped to make him an “expert” on pound cakes.

  “Anyone that grew up in the south is probably a pound cake expert as pound cakes are often on the food table at church socials, family reunions and funeral meals,” said McBride. “Always included in southern pound cake recipes is a measure of each baker’s heart and goodness. Seeing or tasting a freshly made pound cake makes me recall wonderfully wise and loving people that I have known during my ministry.”

  To purchase one of the six winning, e-mail Alley McCord at

  Pound-cake slices will be also available for purchase at the Spring Art Fest on April 27. For more information, visit



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