It’s Almost State Fair Time

Today’s post is courtesy of Gretchen Van De Carr, an Extension Master Gardener Volunteer and avid State Fair participant. The fair runs from October 11 – 21. Come on out and be sure to check out the gardening competitions!
The State Fair
by Gretchen Van De Carr

I have always loved competitions of just about any sort.  I suppose my competitiveness comes from the fact that I am one of nine children.  I tried so hard to be noticed!

I entered the State Fair shortly after we moved to NC in 1982.  We had visited the Fair and I loved the crafts,the bunnies,the chickens and the flowers.  I looked at the sewing projects and thought, “hey, MINE look that good” so the next year I entered a man’s shirt, and a women’s blouse.  I received a blue ribbon in both!  I continued to enter the sewing competitions for years.  It is something I looked forward to since.

Flash forward, two years ago, the year of my MGV training, I spent a lot of time in the floral displays and floral contests.  The whole time I thought, (of course), “MY violets look as good as these” and “MY orchidss are also super nice” and on and on.  The following year I entered some African Violets and a Lady Slipper Orchid.  I placed with all bringing home 2 firsts and 3 second place ribbons, so yeah, I’m hooked!

This year when you visit the fair, LOOK at the displays.  Think about what you have at home that always looks good this time of the year.  Go to this website and check out all the different competitions (you can call and they will send you a book….make sure you have a highlighter in hand so you can mark it up) and I’m sure you will find one that you would most probably win!  IT’S FUN!  Pay special attention to the dates you must have your entries in and the other rules that are outlined in the book.

When I enter a contest, I think presentation is important so I take my crazy mom and we go out looking for the perfect container for each entry.  I think this makes a huge difference! I also like to put a little “guy” in my plants, for extra fun.  My mom and I go the day before the fair starts to drop off our entries.  At that time, they let us roam around before the crowds arrive the following day.  We love this time together.  I have a few pictures of last year’s entries.

This year I am entering a man’s shirt, and several African Violets and lots of cut plants.  My orchids didn’t quite look up to competition so they will wait till next year.

See you at the Fair.  Dang, it’s fun!