Mildura City Heart will celebrate one of the Mallee’s most iconic events when it hosts The Great Australian Vanilla Slice Triumph’s 21st birthday on 18th August, 2018.

Mildura City Heart Chairman Adam Hobbs said “Saturday 18 August 2018 will see The Great Australian Vanilla Slice Triumph kick off its 21st year under Mildura City Heart stewardship, following years of substantial efforts by past committees based at Ouyen and Merbein,” Mr Hobbs said.

The event initially started in the Mallee town of Ouyen when former Victorian premier, Jeff Kennett, stopped by the local bakery for a vanilla slice and declared to the baker Dennis Gneil it was the best he’d ever had.

Local community group Ouyen Inc. then started working with Mr Kennett’s office and Australia’s baking industries and suppliers to create a nation-wide search for Australia’s best vanilla slice, and after 14 years of running the event passed the baton on to Merbein Development Association, which ran the event for a further five years, before being taken up by Mildura City Heart in 2017.

The Great Australian Vanilla Slice Triumph will begin at 9:00am, with the cutting of a vanilla slice birthday cake at the official opening by Jeff Kennett and Dennis Gneil at 10:00am.

Mr Kennett said “I am pleased to be the Event Patron and am looking forward to celebrating the event’s 21st year”

 “This is not only a great event but continues to be responsible for huge job growth in bakeries around the country.

I look forward to seeing how the competition has evolved and sampling a few slices from the Market Hall myself!” Mr Kennett said.

Mildura Mayor Mark Eckel is looking forward to the birthday celebration and is "delighted to hear that one of our truly high profile events will once again be staged in Mildura’s iconic Langtree Mall, and I’m particularly excited with the news that Vanilla Slice ‘champion’ and former Victorian Premier Jeff Kennett will be in town for this year’s event.

“This is a real coup for both the City Heart Management and our region and will help raise the profile of the Great Australian Vanilla Slice Triumph even higher, hopefully attracting even more vanilla slice lovers from across the national to our region.

“Already a significant tourism magnet, our city’s heart is an event centre and the new connection from the Mall to the Murray River through Langtree Avenue provides the perfect ambience for locals and visitors alike.”

Chief Judge of this year’s competition, EOI Peerless Foods’ Corey Howard, said they are pleased to be working with Mildura City Heart to continue this event in the Sunraysia region.

“It was a fantastic outcome for locals in 2017 with Hudaks Bakery taking home the top prize in the Professional category. This year, we are looking forward to the expansion of the baking competition, with the Amateur categories of primary and secondary school, open and 50+ returning in 2018”, Mr Howard said.

Amateur and professional bakers that wish to obtain information about entering the competition can obtain information from www.milduracity.com.au/event/enter-now-great-australian-vanillaslice-triumph

The Great Australian Vanilla Slice Triumph will be a fun-filled day of family activities, entertainment, competition entry displays and the ‘Vanilla Slice Market Hall’ will be located under the pavilion in the Langtree Mall, where the public can purchase vanilla slices from numerous local and visiting bakeries and also vote for their favourite for The People’s Choice Award.

The Great Australian Vanilla Slice Triumph will be held from 9am, and officially opened at 10am, Saturday 18th August 2018 in Mildura’s Langtree Mall.