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The Gerry Frank Memorial Chocolate Cake Contest, presented by the Salem Area Chamber of Commerce

Sunday, September 4, 2:00pm

The traditions of the Oregon State Fair are many. But few, if any, achieve the sheer status or popularity of the Gerry Frank Chocolate Cake Contest. And now, as the Fair returns for the first time since Gerry Frank passed away after a long, historic life, we're pleased to announce the Gerry Frank Memorial Chocolate Cake Contest, presented by the Salem Area Chamber of Commerce, Sunday, September 4.

A lifelong champion for Oregon, Gerry Frank passed away in March 2022 at the age of 98, after spending 60 years tasting hundreds of chocolate layer cakes at the Oregon State Fair. Gerry Frank’s love of chocolate was recognized by legions, and today, his contest is the best-known of its kind in the Northwest. Each year, fairgoers celebrated his cake-tasting fortitude while on stage, often cajoling the crowd with his stories, chocolate trivia questions, and baking advice. Gerry founded and recently sold Gerry Frank’s Konditorei, a gourmet cake shop, and restaurant in Salem. Konditorei proudly serves delicious desserts Monday-Saturday 10am-9pm at 310 Kearney SE in Salem, Oregon 97302.

Tom Hoffert, CEO of the Salem Area Chamber of Commerce

Stepping in as guest judge this year is Tom Hoffert, the CEO of the Salem Area Chamber of Commerce. No stranger to baking, he spent 15 years managing business expansion and corporate partnerships for one of Salem's largest craft baking companies, Don Pancho Mexican Foods. Now, as the CEO of Salem Area Chamber of Commerce, he focuses on supporting Salem's small businesses and championing their growth: "At the Salem Chamber, we believe in helping businesses prosper so our entire community may thrive."

The Oregon State Fair extends its highest level of gratitude and appreciation to Gerry Frank for his loyal dedication to this beloved contest. His contribution to the unique nature of our fair is beyond remarkable, and the Oregon State Fair is very grateful to his estate for letting us pay tribute to him with the Gerry Frank Memorial Chocolate Cake Contest, presented by the Salem Area Chamber of Commerce.

Enter Your Chocolate Cake!

Bring your best chocolate layer cake to the Oregon State Fair on Sunday, September 4 - the contest begins at 2:00 pm in the Creative Living Hall. Anyone bringing a chocolate cake to the Oregon State Fair on Sunday September 4 to enter the Gerry Frank Memorial Chocolate Cake Competition will receive free entry to the Fair that day.

Thanks to a gracious donation from the Gerry Frank Estate, everyone who enters the competition will receive a copy of Gerry Frank's Oregon book.

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The Oregon State Fair recognizes that COVID-19 is unpredictable, and, if the need arises, will comply if any health and safety protocols are issued by the State of Oregon, Marion County, or the City of Salem, should they impact this year’s Fair.

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