Blue ribbons and bragging rights are what thousands of fair exhibitors are hoping for each year when they enter their prized items into the N.C. State Fair for competition. This year, in the fair’s newest competitive-exhibits category, fairgoers will decide which exhibitors earns the rainbow-colored rosette.
“We came up with the idea from our exhibitors,” said Denise Walker, competitive exhibits director. “Every year we hear I can’t believe you don’t have a category for fill-in-the-blank. But sometimes there is not a miscellaneous category that applies, and this competition gives these exhibitors a chance to showcase talents that haven’t previously been seen at the fair.”
The Almost Anything Goes Contest is being offered in Handicrafts and Hobbies, Home Furnishings, Clothing, and Art and Photography. A special ribbon will be awarded in both youth and adult classes. No prize money is offered in this competition. Also, the item entered cannot be accommodated by any other categories offered. The competition is called Almost Anything Goes for a reason, the fair reserves the right to reject entries that are deemed objectionable or unsuitable for exhibition. Only one entry per person per category.
“Exhibitors in this category are not the only ones going home with a really cool rainbow-colored rosette,” Walker said. “Judges will get special ribbons, too.” The Almost Anything Contest will be judged by fairgoers at 3 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 15, which is the opening day of the fair. Hostesses in the departments offering this category will have signs asking for Almost Anything Goes judges. The adult categories will be judged by an adult fairgoer and the youth categories by a youth fairgoer. “Judges can choose any judging criteria they want to determine their winner. This competition is truly meant to capture the joy and excitement of entering items into the fair,” Walker said.
The registration deadline for entering is Sept. 18. However, exhibitors will have a little longer to make their item perfect, most entries aren’t due until closer to the fair. Check the online premium book for drop off dates, times and locations. For more information on this competition and others at the Fair, check out the online competitions guide at www.ncstatefair.org.