The competition’s heating up: Prepare State Fair entries now

Published 2:23 pm Saturday, August 4, 2018

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Virginia Farm Bureau


Competition guidelines for more than 1,200 categories in which the public can enter are now posted on the State Fair of Virginia’s website.

From creative to culinary arts, to plants and preserved foods, “there is truly something for everyone —from the home cook to the portrait painter to the backyard gardener,” noted Stuart Sanders, SFVA educational competition manager.

The 2018 competition guidelines are now online at Most entries are due Sept. 7, but check specific information for each category.

Fans of HGTV’s Flea Market Flip may want to enter the State Fair’s version: Virginia Flea Market Flip, sponsored by Ashland Ace Hardware. Contestants are encouraged to purchase and refurbish, refresh or repurpose a flea market item for less than $100. Before and after photos must be submitted by Sept. 7.

The top 10 items will be on display during the fair, and the winner will be determined by the voting public. The creator of the winning flea market flip item will receive $150.

New culinary competitions include the King Arthur Flour Calzone/Stromboli contest and the Virginia Egg Council’s Berry Delicious contest in which entrants are encouraged to whip up a dish with eggs and berries. The egg council competition is a culmination of county fair contests. The top three winners from each county event are eligible to compete at the state fair.

Other new culinary contests include the House-Autry Mills wing competition and the Virginia Peanut Growers Association’s tailgate recipe for adults and peanut butter sandwich for youth. Cooks also can think out of the box and come up with an island-inspired Spam dish to enter in the Great American Spam Championship.

There also are opportunities for artists, photographers, quilters, knitters and more.

“The fair showcases the best of Virginia’s talent, and our general competitions give people the opportunity to showcase their skills,” Sanders said. “Some of the categories award cash prizes or scholarships but all of the winning entries will receive a blue ribbon and bragging rights that they’ve created Virginia’s best of the best.”

There are 581 categories of creative arts for adults and youth. This includes 21 categories in the State Fair quilt show.

With 448 horticulture categories, those with a green thumb may want to enter a brilliant bromeliad or stunning succulent. Farmers or home gardeners can enter their best cotton bolls, peanut plants or fruits and vegetables.

Canners have the chance to show off their skills with 131 preserved food classes for pickles, jellies, jams, syrups, vinegars and more.