To all of our State Fair competitors who want to take home this year’s blue ribbons, we have good news for you: the 2013 Premium Book is almost here. The book will be available and information will be online July 1, but we have a preview of what changes you can expect in this year’s general and livestock competitions.
The culinary division will add an exceptional/special needs category, which is divided into developmental age groups. Each group has entries for breads, cakes and cookies. Also new in the culinary division are sugar-free, fat-free and gluten-free categories to reflect a growing interest in restricted diets.
The Handicrafts and Hobbies division is also getting a makeover with the addition of several North Carolina-themed categories. Also, in response to requests of several exhibitors, this year there will be a new breakdown in age groups to separate the adolescent class (ages 10-14) from the youth class (ages 15-18).
Other changes are spread across different categories:
- The beer competition is expanding from 16 categories to 23;
- The cheese competition goes international, allowing entries from all around the world;
- New to the youth section of horticulture is the Best Decorated Sweet Potato competition;
- The Graphic and Web Design competition is shaved down to include only graphic designs; and
- Additional prize money is available for blue ribbon junior and senior division winners in the 4-H quilted articles and hand-knitted categories. This is being provided by the Ashe County Piece Makers Quilt Guild.
- One first-place winner from the hand knitted items categories in the Clothing Department will be awarded a special prize by the ‘Ol North State Knitting Guild.
Slight rule changes have been made in other categories, so be sure to check your books before entering.
Premium books will be available July 1 in the Administration Building at the N.C. State Fairgrounds on a first-come, first-served basis. Next year, print copies of the premium books will be a thing of the past as we go green with an online version only. This will be a big change for many exhibitors, but we are prepared to help in the transition. If you have limited or no Internet access, you may request to have the rules and entry forms of specific categories mailed by calling the N.C. State Fair at 919-839-4521.
Registrations will be accepted beginning Aug. 1, which will be here before you know it, so get started growing your prize-winning vegetables, perfecting those recipes or working with your livestock.