Tuesday, June 22, 2010

County Fair: What are You Putting In?

It's time to starting thinking about county fairs. Some have already started! My county fair isn't until August 2nd, but it's time to start preparing and gathering the things I want to enter. The date to turn things in is July 31st, and it's circled on my calendar!

All spring I checked the fair's website for the new premium book. This is the [virtual] book that lists all the categories (and premiums) by Section, Department, and Class. I can enter as many classes as I want, but only one item per class. One year I'm going to try to fill them all, but not this year. (Some fairs give you a special prize if you manage to enter something in each Department. That would be sweet too.)

Anyway, the premium book wasn't being updated. And then it wasn't updated. I kept checking. And then it was still the 2009 book. I kept checking. Then all the premium books except Open Class Non-Ag (ie. "Home Arts") were updated. This just wasn't fair!

Then all the premium books were updated and reformatted but the Non-Ag was inaccessible. You could click on it but it just told you that someone was editing the file and you couldn't access it. So I let it sit for a while. I mean, I believe in giving people a chance to do their job. After more than a week of "editing" when all the other premium books were fine, I made one phone call. Then it was fixed and I could access it. And all was right in my world.

I didn't notice any category changes from last year, but this year there is a "Special Award" in knitting given by judge's choice. A special award of a $25 Red Purl gift certificate! I had been gunning for my first Grand Champion Knitting Exhibit, but now I'm hoping for the gift certificate. (I'm sure Amy would rather someone who doesn't regularly go to her shop would win, but I can't say I'm hoping for the same thing. I'm just not quite that altruistic.)

Over the next month or so, I'll be pulling out my projects from the last year and looking them over. Washing them; reblocking them. Making sure they meet the Class description. (You get disqualified if it doesn't. I learned the hard way.)

And will you be doing the same? If you are local to the Cass County Fair, you can enter your items; you do not have to be a Cass County resident. You need to be a resident of Cass or a neighbouring county. (That would be: Berrien, Van Buren, and St Joseph, Michigan.) Or enter your own county's fair. Our Fair gives you free passes when you enter things to exhibit, making it easy to go back and look at everyone's work. It's also the only way you can see if you won any ribbons.

Entering your own items will make the fair more fun, I assure you. And don't think it has to be knitting. There are categories for just about all handwork plus baking, canning, photography, produce/flowers, scrapbooking... Other people love to see what you've been up to--yes, even people that don't know you. And I'm sure the judges enjoy having lots of good things to pick from too.

To enter the Cass County Fair, go to their website and print a copy of the Open Class Non Ag premium book. [Hoover over Premium Book and click on 2010 Open Class Non Ag.] Look over all the categories and enter as many as you can! It's free.
You'll also want to print the Entry Form. [Hoover over Forms and click on Open Class Entry Form.]

I'm sure your county (or state) fair has a website too. Go find it. Print what you need. Let's invade our fairs with our lovely homemade stuff!

Leave a comment if you plan to enter in your local fair. I want to hear from you!


  1. Our county fair is the last one in Illinois, therefore not until September. Last year was the first time in many years that I did not have any entries. I had projects but did not get my forms submitted in time since I was chaperoning a mission trip with the church youth group. I'll probabaly be entering again this year though. Good luck to you - in advance!

  2. Yes, I've had summer plans interfere with the drop off date too. (Frustrating.) Even worse, the State Fair date was during our County Fair, so I couldn't put the same thing in both. (This year, the state stopped holding a fair, so I guess that's no longer a problem.)

    I hope you can get some entries in this year...good luck to you too!


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