State Fair of Virginia competitions offer shot at blue-ribbon bragging rights

Susan S. Johnson

state fair of virginiaIf you want to earn blue-ribbon bragging rights, then it is time to start doing the job on entries for this year’s State Good of Virginia competitions.

Levels of competition guides with entry deadlines and classification descriptions for culinary and imaginative arts and horticulture entries are now on line at StateFairVa.org.

Just about every 12 months, hundreds of Virginians enter the competitions, and their entries are exhibited for the duration of the truthful. Some categories offer winners compact income prizes in addition to bragging-ideal ribbons. But it’s the blue ribbons that quite a few opponents care about the most.

Ten-time ribbon winner Traci Garland mentioned she likes to function “I’m a Condition Good blue-ribbon winner” into conversations.

“It’s quite awesome” to say those words and phrases, admitted Garland, who utilised to admire the winning entries at the honest but didn’t assume she could take part simply because she life in Richmond.

“One 12 months, it dawned on me that I could,” shared Garland, who has competed considering the fact that 2016. At the time, her daughter was 4 a long time old and enjoyed supporting in their yard backyard and the kitchen. “I considered it could be entertaining to attempt canning with her.”

The duo built a green tomato and apple chutney that Garland entered in the open up preserved food items group. She won a blue ribbon for it and has been “hooked ever due to the fact.” When Garland’s daughter was older, she entered the State Fair youth baking competition and received a purple ribbon for her carrot cake.

State Truthful arts and crafts, culinary and horticulture competitions are for anyone—artists, bakers, crafters, gardeners, plant professionals, row crop farmers and more. There are groups for both equally grown ups and youth.

“Some folks assume you have to get at a county fair in advance of you can compete at the condition reasonable, but that is a misnomer,” stated Sarah Jane Thomsen, the fair’s supervisor of agriculture education and strategic programming partnerships. “Anyone can enter the arts and crafts, culinary and horticulture competitions if they meet the standards.”

And members in the competitions add to the fair’s mission of educating the public about agriculture and drawing connections to exactly where fairgoers’ foods is grown.

“A ton of individuals are not uncovered to crops and plants like all those displayed in the horticulture tent,” shared Lynwood Broaddus, a Caroline County farmer and repeated horticulture competitor. “But persons are really intrigued in where their food will come from, and if they can see the commodities in individual, it can help them make a relationship.”

On Broaddus’ Spring Hill Farms, he and his son and brother grow wheat, rye and barley. For the earlier number of a long time, they have entered samples of all those crops in the horticulture competitions. He and his spouse, Becky, also enter vegetation and greens from their yard backyard garden.

In excess of the past five yrs, the Broadduses have gained about 100 ribbons, with a third of them blue.

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