Meet Your Neighbor: Frances Blackwelder |

Meet Your Neighbor: Frances Blackwelder

Denise: What is your occupation?

Frances: I work in drafting as a CAD technician for an engineering firm, SGM, in Grand Junction. I’ve worked there since 2012.

Denise: What do you do when you aren’t working?

Frances: I am a foodie at heart, and I like to enter cooking contests. I’ve entered food contests since 2005, and I’ve won some and I’ve lost some. I enter local contests at fairs and other events. I also enter national competitions. In 2012, I was one of 100 finalists in the Pillsbury Bake-Off Contest. I was one of thousands who submitted a recipe. The finalists went to Florida where there were 100 kitchens set up in a hotel. It was an amazing experience.

Denise: What are you doing now?

Frances: Because of my experience in cooking and baking competitions, I was asked to help organize the Fruita Fall Festival Old Fashioned Cookery Contest presented by Fruita True Value. I am promoting the contest, and I will be helping to check in the entries as well as organizing and guiding the judges. The contest, which takes place on Saturday, Sept. 26, at Fruita True Value, has lots of prizes, winners, and cash, including a $120 grand prize. There are four categories for entries including Junior Chefs for children eleven and under, Deliciously Sweet, Home Canning, and Savory Comfort Foods.

Denise: Is the contest open to everyone?

Frances: Yes, the contest is open to the public. Entry forms are available online at Entries should be dropped off at the Fruita True Value, located at 1690 Highway 6 &50, between 8-9 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 26. Winners will be announced at noon. Entry is free, and you can enter as many times as you like, as long as there is a completed form for each entry. Judging is based on taste, presentation and texture. There is a “Tips for Success” sheet on the Fall Festival website. We hope to see lots of participation in this year’s contest.

Denise Hight is co-author of Images of America: Fruita, which was published by Arcadia Publishing in 2011. She recently finished writing another book for Arcadia, Legendary Locals of Fruita, which will be published in February 2016. She can be reached at

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