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Columbia, SC (WLTX) -- Even though the fair is two days away, people headed to the fairgrounds for the State Fair's culinary contest.

"When you see it, you get that wow factor," said Carol Gunter who is judging the contest this year.

"Wow" is just one of the many words that can describe the cakes, cupcakes, pies and more at the South Carolina State Fair culinary contest. But second-time contestant, Jessica Whetstone, likes the word "different" when it comes to her cakes.

"I entered a dead cockroach cake two years ago and I got 2nd place because I wanted to do something different, something unique that people would think about and remember. So, I decided on the roasted pig this year," she said.

Entries had to be hand delivered this morning. Every box holds goodies hoping for that coveted blue ribbon.

"You really have to weigh one against the other and especially if you've got three or four that are so close," said Peggie Williamson who is also judging the contest.

Williamson has judged about every caegory in the culinary contest for the past 50 years. But every year is something new.

"I'm not exactly sure what we're going to get this year, but they're probably going to try to outdo the people from last year. And I can't remember what they did, it's been so long ago," Williamson said.

The judges range from restaurant owners to past contest winners. But eating hundreds of sweet entries doesn't come without its drawbacks.

"You drink lots of water in between, but you can get a sugar high real quick," said Gunter.

But the judges are finding their happy with every bite.

The left over food is being donated to shelters and soup kitchens around the area.

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