I bag my own groceries when I go to the store because I enjoy it. I used to play Tetris for hours as a kid and bagging groceries sort of feels like a live, grown up version of Tetris to me. When I had the opportunity to attend the WGA Expo in Wisconsin Dells this year I was most excited for the opportunity to see the State Bag Off competition. I thought I knew what I was getting into but boy was I wrong!
We slipped into the side door of the competition room just before the event was to start and that’s when the fun began. We were immediately handed a yellow Festival t-shirt and given a cheer pom made of plastic bag strips. I was a little hesitant to put the shirt on (after all, I had just spent the last 45 minutes getting all dolled up for the big awards banquet taking place later that evening) but once it was in place I felt like part of “Team Festival.”
So what was so different than I expected? First, the speed. It really was amazing to see just how quickly those groceries were flying into the bags. Second, thoughtfulness. After just the first round I could clearly tell that the baggers who only touched each item one time came out on top. That meant they had to really give thought to where they wanted to place the item in the bag in the split second it took them to pick it up. And third, the way Festival dominated the room. This really should not have been a surprise based on the fact that we always “go big” at Festival, so maybe I’ll just say that I was a bit overwhelmed and honored to be part of this crazy, fun event!
Mai H., Sheboygan, was recognized as Wisconsin’s Best Bagger after winning the 2014 WGA Best Bagger Competition in Wisconsin Dells. Mai’s victory not only won her $500 cash and a trophy but also a trip to Las Vegas in February to compete in the National Best Bagger competition. Tony F., Oshkosh, won Second place ($250 Cash and a trophy). Congratulations Mai- you deserve it! Good Luck in Las Vegas.