BREAD FEST (Annual Bread Baking Contest)! Close This Window (717 bytes)

Chillicothe, Missouri, held its first-ever Bread Festival (Bread Baking Contest) in 2005 in conjunction with the Chautauqua celebration hosted by the Chillicothe Area Chamber of Commerce each September. This page is devoted to that outstanding event!

The event was held along with the "Sliced Bread Jam" in 2013.

In 2014, the Bread Baking Contest was held in conjunction with Sliced Bread Saturday.


2012 Bread Fest

Click here for 2012 Breadfest News & Information

2008 Bread Fest

60 Entries in 4th Annual Home of Sliced Bread - Bread Baking Contest
Wednesday, September 10, 2008, C-T

CAPTION: Bakers register loaves of bread for the Home of Sliced Bread - Bread Baking Contest Saturday at Simpson Park. The contest featured 60 entries with top bakers in sweet and yeast bread categories being awarded $250 apiece.

C-T photo/Staci Baker

The winners of the 4th annual Home of Sliced Bread - Bread Baking Contest out-baked more competition than ever before. Sixty entrants vied for top baking position this year. The contest was sponsored by Hedrick Medical Center.

The Home of Sliced Bread - Bread Baking Contest was started four years ago to celebrate Chillicothe being the first place in the world to sell commercially-sliced bread to the public. That event, which revolutionized the baking industry, occurred in July 1928. The contest included categories of sweet bread, yeast bread, most sliceable yeast bread and most sliceable sweet bread. A new category was added for young bakers. Winners are as follows:

  • Sweet Bread
    First Pam Miller, Chillicothe, caramel apple bread, $250; Second Anna Dirks, Chillicothe, rhubarb bread, $100; Honorable Mention: Gary Hacker, of Chillicothe, breakfast peach bread, $25.
  • Yeast Bread Category
    First Anna Dirks, Chillicothe, honey oatmeal, $250; Second Rhonda Tebben Kamp, Salisbury, fresh whole wheat, $100; Honorable Mention Donna Horine, Carrollton, honey oat bread, $25.
  • Youth Category
    First Liberty Cox, Chillicothe, white bread, $50. Honorable Mention: Dillon Howe, Zachary Hacker and Ellie Shirley.
  • Most Sliceable Yeast Bread
    Yeast bread: Joyce Wilcox, Cainsville, quick yeast, knives; Sweet bread: Mrs. Larry Castleman, Paris, Mo., cinnamon zucchini bread, knives.

Additionally, the first place overall winners received aprons donated by BK Web Works and plaques donated by Lauhoff Jewelry. The youth and sliceable category prizes were donated by the Greater Chillicothe Visitors Region.


2007 Bread Fest

3rd Annual Bread Contest Winners Announced
Press Release - Greater Chillicothe Visitors Region
For Immediate Release - Call Amy for more info at 660-646-4050

The Home of Sliced Bread hosted their 3rd Annual Bread Baking Contest this past Saturday. The event, sponsored by Hedrick Medical Center, attracted over 40 entries.

Yeast Bread Categories

  • Best Overall Appearance Debbie Dirks of Jamesport
  • Honorable Mention Rose Lee Patchen of Chillicothe
  • Second Place Ruth Ann Marlay of Chillicothe
  • First Place Debbie Dirks of Jamesport

Sweet Bread Categories

  • Best Overall Appearance Lenore Tingerthal of Red Wing, MN
  • Honorable Mention Donna Horton of Trenton
  • Second Place Rose Lee Patchen of Chillicothe
  • First Place Joe Rinehart of Chillicothe

A cookbook is planned with all of the winning recipes from this and previous contests. Start practicing now for the 4th Annual Home of Sliced Bread - Bread Baking Contest which will be in the Fall of 2008. For updates please visit our website at www.homeofslicedbread.com.

A special thanks to our prize sponsors including Hedrick Medical Center, BK Web Works, The Martin House and Lauhoff Jewelry.



2006 Bread Fest

Loafing Around: Bread Baking Contest Will Be Saturday During Chautauqua
Wednesday, September 6, 2006, C-T

Can your bread baking skills make the cut? Would you like to bake bread to make bread? Chillicothe, the Home of Sliced Bread, invites community members to participate in the second annual Home of Sliced Bread-Bread Baking Contest.

The contest will be held during Chillicothe's Annual Chautauqua in the Park festival on Saturday, Sept. 9, in the Rotary Shelter House at Simpson Park. There is a $1 per loaf entry fee and contestants may register upon arrival.

The best bread bakers will receive prizes. Categories include Best Bread, Best Sweet Bread and Most Sliceable. Registration will begin at 11 a.m. and the judging will begin at noon. Contests winners will be announced and prizes will be awarded at 2:30 p.m. on the main stage at Chautauqua.



2005 Bread Fest

Bread Contest Draws Almost 50 Entries
By CATHERINE STORTZ RIPLEY, C-T News Editor
Monday, September 12, 2005

Our judges taste and view the loaves of bread for the contest. Click the photo to see a closer view.A panel of judges make their way around tables covered with loaves of bread during the inaugural BreadFest held Saturday during Chautauqua. Judges were, from left: Francine Davenport, who judged the sliceability of each loaf; and tasters Lucille Bauermeister, Debbie Skipper and Ed Douglas. There were 48 entries. Forty-eight bakers participated in the first-ever BreadFest held at the Chautauqua on Saturday to celebrate the fact that Chillicothe is the Home of Sliced Bread. Entries were judged on taste, texture and sliceability and the contest was sponsored by Hy-Vee Food Store and the Greater Chillicothe Visitor's Region.

The four winners of the Bread Baking Contest recieved many different prizes. Click the photo to see a closer view.The overall winner was Jenessa Lloyd of Chillicothe who received a Home of Sliced Bread "Best Bread Baker 2005" apron, a $100 gift certificate from Hy-Vee Food Store and a plaque donated by Lauhoff Jewelry. Joe Rinehart of Chillicothe received second place and received a baking basket and a plaque from Lauhoff Jewelry. Karen Hancock of Meadville received honorable mention during the contest and received a Greater Chillicothe Visitor's Region cooler and bread baking items.

In the sliceability competition, Pat Wiedmier of Braymer received first place and an honorable mention for two different loaves of bread. Her winnings included a set of knives, a plaque donated by Lauhoff Jewelry, a Greater Chillicothe Visitor's Region cooler and break baking items. Marjorie Jeffries of Chillicothe received an honorable mention in the sliceability competition and received a Greater Chillicothe Visitor's Region cooler and bread baking items. All of the entrants received a Home of Sliced Bread candle.


Search On For Best Loaf Of Bread
By CATHERINE STORTZ RIPLEY, C-T News Editor
Tuesday, September 6, 2005

Contestants signing up in the Bread Fest. Click the photo to see a closer view.Bread bakers throughout the area are invited to enter the inaugural Home of Sliced Bread Bread Baking Contest that will take place this Saturday from 2 until 4 p.m. during Chillicothe's Chautauqua in the Park. And, the individual entering the winning loaf of bread in the contest will really bring home the dough as he or she will be awarded a $100 gift certificate as well as other prizes. Entries can be any loaf of home-made, oven-baked yeast bread. A panel of judges will select the winning entry on pre-determined criteria including taste, texture and sliceability. The decision of the judges will be final. There is no entry fee and contestants may register upon arrival.

Another photo of our grand prize winners! Click the photo to see a closer view.The contest is being coordinated by the Home of Sliced Bread Committee which organized about two years ago in an effort to promote Chillicothe as the Home of Sliced Bread. Chillicothe was the first place in the world to commercially sell sliced bread. "This is our first real event," said Ed Douglas, who chairs the group. "We're hoping to get some publicity through the area newspapers and radio stations and hope that this contest will do nothing but expand over the years." Douglas, who is also serving as one of the judges, said that he hoped there would be 30 entries in this first contest.

The first place overall winner will receive a $100 gift certificate, a trophy, and a one-of-a-kind apron. The second place winner will receive a baker's gift basket (with baking supplies and knives), and a trophy. The winner of the most sliceable loaf of bread will receive a knife and a trophy. All participants will receive a Home of Sliced Bread souvenir gift.


Mention Of Chillicothe In National Magazine 'A Big Deal'
By CATHERINE STORTZ RIPLEY, C-T News Editor
Friday, August 12, 2005

Photos used in this article are from our 1st annual BreadFest!

Many people came to show off their loaves of bread. Click the photo to see a closer view.It was small, but it was a mention nonetheless in a national news magazine about Chillicothe being the place where inventor Otto Rohwedder first tried out his bread slicing machine. The fact that Chillicothe is getting recognition for this event is part of the goals of the Sliced Bread Committee, an ad hoc group of individuals wanting to see Chillicothe become well-known as "the home of sliced bread." "It's exciting," said Ed Douglas, who chairs the committee, in commenting about the article in U.S. News & World Report. "This is a shot in the arm for us."

Two of the Sliced Bread Committee members stand together to talk about the upcoming event. Click the photo to see a closer view.The article was part of a series of articles featuring the way Americans eat. The sliced bread story talked about how bakers scoffed at Rohwedder's invention until he convinced Chillicothe baker Frank Bench to give his machine a try. The Sliced Bread Committee has been meeting monthly for about the last year-and-a-half discussing ways to increase awareness of Chillicothe's claim that resurfaced a few years ago. The historical event occurred in July 1928 at Chillicothe Baking Company. That day had been mostly forgotten until it was rediscovered and published in a history book, "Dateline - Livingston County" in 2001, a project of the Constitution-Tribune. Since 2003 when a wire service carried a story internationally about the 75th anniversary of sliced bread, radio programs featuring the topic have been heard in Canada, Australia and throughout Missouri. Articles appeared in "The National Examiner" and the topic was even featured in Ripley's Believe it or Not."

Awaiting the judges results! Click the photo to see a closer view.Barb Burton, executive vice president of the Chillicothe Area Chamber of Commerce, said the recent mention in U.S. News & World Report is "a big deal." "It's always nice to have national recognition for your community," she said. "It also says a lot about the phrase ('It's the greatest thing since sliced bread') and how popular that phrase is. If we are the home of sliced bread and the national publications pick up on that, that could mean something for us in the way of visitors down the line." Burton acknowledged that the community needs to develop displays about the history of sliced bread for visitors. "We need to get ready with exhibits and areas of interest for when visitors do come," she said.

A gathering of people enjoy themselves at the Bread Fest. Click the photo to see a closer view.The committee's most visible achievement has been the development of a website, www.homeofslicedbread.com. The website includes photographs and diagrams of the original bread slicer, a photograph of the inventor, various newspaper articles that have been published along the way, an informational poster that is available for purchase as well as "sliced bread candles" that are also for sale. A display is also set up at the Grand River Historical Society Museum. Currently, efforts are being made to locate and acquire one of Rohwedder's bread slicing machines to have it on display in Chillicothe. The machines weren't made for very long but after the first one was put to use in Chillicothe, demand for Rohwedder's invention was great. The committee is pursuing the possibility of obtaining the Rohwedder bread slicing machine from the Smithsonian on a long-term loan.


U.S. News & World Report Mentions Chillicothe As Home Of Sliced Bread
By CATHERINE STORTZ RIPLEY, C-T News Editor
Thursday, August 11, 2005

Chillicothe is getting yet another plug as being the home of sliced bread with the latest mention being in U.S. News & World Report.

Francine Davenport shows off her expertise.! Click the photo to see a closer view.The magazine's cover is devoted to the theme of "America Eats!" and displays a flag-draped apple pie. Inside are vignettes about the foods Americans eat. There are stories about how the foods we eat were influenced by slaves, immigrants, prohibition, the Great Depression, refrigeration, the gold rush, battlefields, fast foods and, of course, sliced bread. Earlier this summer a reporter for the magazine contacted the Constitution-Tribune seeking information about Richard Rohwedder, whose father, Otto Rohwedder, invented the bread slicing machine and first put it to use at Frank Bench's bakery in Chillicothe in July 1928.

Working hard to preserve the taste of the bread. Click the photo to see a closer view.In her article titled "Sliced Bread: The Greatest Thing, Period" Betsy Querna talked with Rohwedder, who now resides in Arkansas. She writes: "Nobody wanted Otto Rohwedder's machine. The Davenport, Iowa, salesman had worked on a device for slicing loaves of bread for more than a decade, but bakers were dubious. They protested that the bread would go stale, that customers only wanted their loves whole, or that it just wouldn't work." "Then, in 1928, Frank Bench, who owned a small bakery in Chillicothe, Mo., decided to give it a try. Richard Rohwedder, Otto's son, who was 13 years old at the time, fed the bread through the "very peculiar-looking machine." It quickly became popular. "The ladies liked and wanted it," he recalls, and sales at Bench's bakery increased by 2,000 percent in just a few weeks."

The latest edition of U.S. News & World Report features an article titled "Sliced Bread: The Greatest Thing, Period" which tells the story about Chillicothe being the first place in the world to sell commercially-sliced bread. It includes an interview with Richard Rohwedder, whose father invented the bread-slicing machine.


Debating who could be the next Bread Fest winner. Click the photo to see a closer view. A contestant smiles and she waits for her apron to be tied. Click the photo to see a closer view.
The crowd awaits to see who the winner will be! Click the photo to see a closer view. Signing up to be eligable to win a prize in the Bread Baking Contest. Click the photo to see a closer view.
The judges get a real treat the the Bread Fest! Click the photo to see a closer view.

  

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