One woman dominated a local fair’s food contest. The internet went looking for her.

The competition at the Virginia-Kentucky District Good commenced innocently enough when a female named Linda Skeens entered her a lot of baked treats, canned products and other things for the judged contest.

Then she gained – and she gained massive. The truthful posted a checklist of winners on Fb demonstrating that Skeens dominated the June 13 level of competition, successful a lot more than 25 of 80 contest groups. That is when points took on a life of their own. Her on the web fans required to obtain her.

Skeens swept the cake, pie, cookie, bread (the two sweet and savory), brownie and candy types. In addition to baked products, Skeens’s corn received very best overall canned vegetable, and her peppers prevailed as the all round most effective non-cucumber pickled item.

Skeens gained greatest spaghetti sauce, ideal applesauce and greatest sauerkraut. Not only did she gain most effective jelly with her grape jelly, but her peach-raspberry jam gained best jam, much too – amid many other undefeated dishes she cooked up for the competition.

Hundreds of individuals responded on the Fb post, most in awe of Skeens’s culinary competencies. But the thoughts had been persistent on the net: The place is Linda Skeens? And who is she? Her promptly developing lover base needed to know, and as the days went on, it grew to become a secret intensifying with each and every meme posted on the webpage, as people requested, “Seriously, Linda?? Do you snooze?”

“She showed up, confirmed anyone what a winner seems to be like, and still left without a trace,” posted a commenter. Some remarks acquired 10,000 likes, and the hashtag #whereislindaskeens started circulating.

Countless jokes rolled in: “Did you listen to about the time there was a kitten stuck in a tree? Linda Skeens baked a French Baguette Ladder suitable there on the place and rescued it.”

Some persons invited Skeens to Thanksgiving dinner, when other people requested for her hand in marriage.

“We have observed the lady who can choose down Bobby Flay,” stated a commenter.

Except they could not discover her. Apart from her title, the Virginia-Kentucky District Truthful – which has hosted the yearly celebration in Smart, Va., by the Kentucky border, considering the fact that 1913 – exposed no information and facts about the girl who seemingly received it all.

One lady named Linda Skeens, who life in Blacksburg, Va., was bombarded with messages on Fb, to the level exactly where she felt compelled to make a general public declaration, detailing that she is not, in point, the Linda Skeens.

“I AM NOT THE LINDA SKEENS BAKING PHENOM WHO Won ALL OF THE RIBBONS AT THE KENTUCKY VIRGINIA DISTRICT Honest,” she wrote.

Skeens, 68, reported her mistaken id has in fact been pleasant, as she has experienced the unforeseen possibility to join with form strangers from around close to the world in recent times.

“I’ve listened to from individuals from Indonesia, Australia, the U.K., Norway, all kinds of sites,” she mentioned in a telephone interview with The Washington Post.

“I have honestly experienced the time of my daily life,” she stated. “I seriously hope and pray the real Linda Skeens has been designed mindful of all the appreciation she has received online for her baking skills, due to the fact she definitely deserves it.”

Skeens’s loyal legion continued to glimpse for their baking and canning hero on social media, or any where on the internet, for that matter. A number of folks made TikToks about her, including a male who done “The Ballad of Linda Skeens.”

Radio character Mason Moussette, who hosts a morning clearly show in Dallas, was in on the quest. She is always searching for entertaining tales to share with her audience, she mentioned, and when she stumbled upon the look for for Skeens, she was intrigued.

“I just identified it intriguing,” explained Moussette, who also built a TikTok inquiring about Skeens’s whereabouts, which has almost 400,000 views. “I required to know the story of this lady. How did she do so nicely in so several classes?”

“The total world wide web is hunting for this girl,” Moussette explained in her TikTok.

As it turns out, the actual Linda Skeens’s granddaughter came throughout Moussette’s video and got in contact.

As her grandmother’s name flew throughout social media, “my mobile phone just started blowing up,” said Franki Skeens, 33.

Whilst she and her family members ended up shocked by Linda Skeens’s unexpected stardom, they weren’t amazed by her several victories at the Virginia-Kentucky District Fair.

“To us, it’s very little new since Mamaw has done it for several years,” reported Franki Skeens.

She has fond childhood recollections of baking cookies and other treats with her grandmother to enter into the fair.

“It’s a significant family members tradition,” explained Franki Skeens, introducing that her grandmother has participated as a contestant for a number of a long time, and has taken household quite a few blue ribbons, but probably none as many as this year.

According to Franki Skeens, Linda Skeens life in Russel County, Va., with her partner. She is in her late 60s, and she does not have any social media, an email deal with or even a cellphone.

Her granddaughter stated she is a doting mom and grandparent to 3 youngsters, 5 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. She is also an avid churchgoer, with a knack for arts and crafts – together with embroidery, cross-stich and painting – and of system, cooking and baking. In her spouse and children, she is most well known for her potato casserole, her strawberry fudge (which won finest overall baked fantastic at the honest) and handmade blackberry ice product.

The district reasonable judges awarded her major honors this 12 months for her peach turnovers, chocolate cake, peanut butter cookies and buttermilk breakfast biscuits, between quite a few other objects.

“If it can be made, she can make it,” Franki Skeens reported, introducing that her grandmother declined a ask for for remark from The Washington Publish, stating she is overcome by the focus. “I don’t know how she does it. There are never ever any leftovers.”

Aside from her obvious culinary aptitude, “she is an fantastic female,” mentioned Franki Skeens. “She’s form, she’s sweet. She would possibly give you the shirt off her again, or she would make you a shirt, based on what you needed.”

Even though her grandmother prefers to keep to herself, Linda Skeens is evidently thrilled about the public response to her triumph at the honest.

Though her spouse and children reads her opinions that have come in from strangers on social media, “she just grins from ear to ear,” Franki Skeens reported. “She loves it.”

According to Jennifer Mullins, a member of the fair committee, Skeens was a single of 40 contestants this year who entered the 80 contest types at the truthful, which ran from June 14 to 18. The meals is judged by an nameless four-individual panel the working day prior to the rest of the good situations start out.

In addition to several exhibits, the fair also hosts other gatherings, these types of as bull-using, demolition derby and talent reveals. Mullins confirmed that Linda Skeens has participated in the fair for lots of years, and she has clinched countless contests.

“Linda has normally won major,” stated Mullins. “She has normally been very prosperous at the displays, but this yr, she took on newfound achievement on social media as properly.”

“How this tale unfolded was a surprise, I assume to every person,” she ongoing. “This is bringing pleasure ideal now when we require that.”

Future year’s good is scheduled for June 13-17, and the committee is anticipating a bigger group than ever, thanks to the legendary Linda Skeens.

“If people today are intrigued to meet up with Linda, they just will need to go to the future community county good,” Franki Skeens said.