ST. CLOUD - Artistic and beautiful cakes, incredible cookies, and a cake decorating competition brought area bakers and distributors together.

The Upper Midwest Bakery Association held it's 97th annual convention at River's Edge Convention Center. The convention was themed "Building the Future".

UMBA Executive Director Jessica Artibee says "Building the Future" is about teaching each other about the future of the industry.

"Local bakeries from the five state area are a part of the association. We offer tools and education to help bakeries succeed."

The convention had been held in Red Wing the last few years but as the event grew they needed more space. St. Cloud provided the space they needed and the convention came to St. Cloud for the 1st time in its nearly hundred year history.

"We actually outgrew our old location, so we needed something bigger. We have a lot of bakeries in this area and a lot of members in this area. So we checked out this space and made the move."

The UMBA Convention featured a live themed cake decorating competition where the competitors were given a story about a couple getting married. The decorators then took the story and made cakes to fit the story couples ideal cakes.

Contestants had six hours to complete three cakes per two person team.

The event was Friday through Sunday. There was classes on decorating, booths for vendors to showcase their products,

The UMBA will be back next year on the first weekend of March, 2018.

By Justin LaBounty WJON
By Justin LaBounty WJON

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