First-ever 'Great Hotdish Bake-Off' a success

Former Senator Knute Nelson's birthday was celebrated in style Saturday at the first-ever Great Hotdish Bake-Off.

Laura Kremer from Knute Nelson serves up the winning chicken bacon ranch hotdish to Chuck Jensen of Alexandria. (Celeste Edenloff / Echo Press)

Laura Kremer from Knute Nelson serves up the winning chicken bacon ranch hotdish to Chuck Jensen of Alexandria. (Celeste Edenloff / Echo Press)

Char Hanson, a volunteer from the Douglas County Historical Society, serves hotdish to Wayne Freimuth of Miltona. The Big Bertha Tex-Mex Casserole, as it was labeled, came from the Oscar Lake Church cookbook. (Celeste Edenloff / Echo Press)

Char Hanson, a volunteer from the Douglas County Historical Society, serves hotdish to Wayne Freimuth of Miltona. The Big Bertha Tex-Mex Casserole, as it was labeled, came from the Oscar Lake Church cookbook. (Celeste Edenloff / Echo Press)

The event, sponsored by The Douglas County Historical Society and the Alexandria United Methodist Church, took place Feb. 2, the 176th birthday of Senator Nelson, at Broadway Ballroom. 

There were seven teams serving up hotdish, as well as a silent auction and of course, birthday cake. The teams included Alexandria United Methodist Church, Knute Nelson, Evansville Care Campus, Lake Ida, West Moe Church, First Congregational United Church of Christ and volunteers of the Douglas County Historical Society.

Pans of hotdish were ready to be served to the hungry masses at the first-ever Great Hotdish Bake-Off Saturday afternoon. The event, held at Broadway Ballroom in Alexandria, was put on by the Douglas County Historical Society and the Alexandria United Methodist Church. (Celeste Edenloff / Echo Press)

Pans of hotdish were ready to be served to the hungry masses at the first-ever Great Hotdish Bake-Off Saturday afternoon. The event, held at Broadway Ballroom in Alexandria, was put on by the Douglas County Historical Society and the Alexandria United Methodist Church. (Celeste Edenloff / Echo Press)

The People's Choice Award went to Knute Nelson for its chicken bacon ranch hotdish, a favorite of the residents. 

Carol Meyer, who helped to organize the bake-off, are hoping it turns into an annual event. Both were pleased with the turnout and said it will be held again next year the Saturday of Super Bowl weekend. 

Source, images, credits & more information: Echo Press | Celeste Edenloff