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Encyclopedia Dubuque


"Encyclopedia Dubuque is the online authority for all things Dubuque, written by the people who know the city best.”
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Affiliated with the Local History Network of the State Historical Society of Iowa, and the Iowa Museum Association.


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BLUE BOX KIDS. In 2001 Michael Burbach and Casey Olmstead won the Blue Box contest. There were 12,000 entries. (1)

The two artists read about the fourth annual contest on the back of Blue Box macaroni and cheese boxes. They had a choice of entering artwork, a story or a poem, or a video expressing their love for the meal. Olmstead created a mosaic of a girl licking her lips near a bowl of macaroni and cheese. Burbach drew himself in a safari suit swinging on a vine over crocodiles to grab a box of macaroni and cheese. (2)

The two students were featured on over 1 million special edition boxes of macaroni and cheese sold during the summer. They also received $10,000 college scholarships and family trips to Florida. (3)

Michael Burbach repeated his success in 2002. His illustration showed a box of mac and cheese and a saxophone-playing blues musician. (4)



1. "2 Young Local Artists Become Kraft Blue Box Kids," Telegraph Herald, February 10, 2001, p. 1

2. Ibid.

3. Ibid.

4. "Dubuque Boy the Cheesiest," Telegraph Herald, February 27, 2002, p. 15