MANSFIELD -- A 70-year-old Shelby woman proved practice pays off Wednesday evening at the Richland County Fair.
Barb Weaver, who makes at least one lemon meringue pie per month, was delighted when the pie so popular among her friends and family was recognized with a grand champion ribbon at the annual fair pie auction.
"The people at work like them, and I give them away for birthdays," Weaver said about her culinary treat.
It sold for $100 to Richland County Prosecutor Gary Bishop. Other pies submitted by Weaver included black raspberry, blueberry with pecan crumbles and peach.
Weaver said she picked peaches from a local orchard, cut and froze them with the intent to later make a pie, and the blackberries were picked fresh for the occasion.
She's submitted pies to the Richland County Fair for the past five years and earned a few blue first place ribbons, but the title of "grand champion" is something special to her.
"I used to work at a school cafeteria, so it's good to know I can still make good pies," Weaver said.
The second place, reserve grand champion title was awarded to Joni Davis for a peach pie. It sold for $120 to Theresa Wallace of Phillips Tube Group.
Wallace has attended the auction for 10 years, continuing a long-running tradition started by her family. She buys at least one box full of pies on behalf of the business and brings them into work the following day.
"They're gone in 30 minutes," she said.
The annual pie auction raised a total of $4,930, which is split 60-40 between the fairgrounds and the baker, respectively. The funds for the fairgrounds support building maintenance and improvements.