What’s a fair without homemade jam?

Published 7:08 pm Tuesday, August 14, 2018

There is still time to enter

The Isle of Wight County Fair deadlines stated in the Aug. 8 edition story referred to the 4-H competitions. There is still time to enter the other fair competitions. Entry deadlines and drop-off times vary, so refer to the Isle of Wight County Fair website at thefairiscoming.com and click on “competitions.” Be sure to download the Premium Book for more details.

By Diana McFarland

Managing editor

The Isle of Wight County Fair is more than rides, funnel cakes and nationally known entertainment.

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Sure, it has all that, but those who want to show off the fruits of their summer labor, dazzle the crowd with their singing talent, decorate a unique hay bale, bake a showy cake and much more are urged to enter one of the fair’s many and varied competitions.  

There are even contests for poultry, rabbits and pigeons. {mprestriction ids=”1,2,3,4,5,6″}

It’s the competitions that give the Isle of Wight County Fair its down home, folksy appeal and sense of community that make it one of the more popular fairs in the state. And they are easy to enter. First, second and third place ribbons are awarded in most divisions. Other awards, such as chairman’s choice, may be given in some contests. 

•Heritage Arts and Crafts

The Heritage Arts and Crafts tent features the fairly new chili contest, that during its launch last year drew many cooks with a penchant for hot peppers.    

Entries are judged on flavor, appearance, spice blend and consistency. 

Photographers, quilt makers, seamstresses, artists and crafts people of all types are urged to check out the Heritage Arts and Craft competitions.  There are divisions for hand and machine-sewn items, wreaths and home décor, metalwork and baskets. 

•Heritage Foods

This is an area where good cooks and bakers can shine. The baked goods, candy, canned foods divisions include sections for youth age 17 and under and adults. 

Enter your best cakes, breads, cookies, pies and more. 

Canned food must be prepared to USDA recommendations or they may be disqualified. Entries are judged on the can, the packing and appearance. Possible entries include vegetables, from pickled to sauces, fruits, jams, jellies, salsas, meats and more. 

•Garden and Field 

There are divisions for row crops, grains and forage crops, as well as the Farm Excellence competition that includes at least three field crops that are grown in Isle of Wight County. 

For those with home gardens, there are competitions for all varieties of fruits and vegetables, from apples to zucchini. There are separate competitions for harvest baskets, specimen baskets and oddity fruits and vegetables. 

Flower and herb growers might want to check out the horticulture division, that includes categories such as cut flowers, flower arrangement and cut herbs. 

•Isle of Wight’s Got Talent

This competition is for those who live, work or attend school in Isle of Wight County and includes four areas — dance, vocal, instrumental and comedy. The talent show awards cash prizes of $50 for first and $25 for second place. There are three age divisions — age 12 and under, age 13-17 and age 18 and up. Acts must be within 2.5 -3 minutes. 

•Other competitions

The Isle of Wight County Fair offers an antique tractor pull on Saturday, Sept. 15; a custom car show on Sunday, Sept. 16, a cornhole tournament with trophies awarded, a demolition derby on Sunday, Sept. 16, and the hay bale decorating contest.

The hay bales are displayed along the entrance into the fairgrounds and donations to the community choice awards go to the permanent restroom facilities fund. The hay bale contest is a favorite among school groups and organizations and bales have been turned into cows, birthday cakes and mini-ferris wheels, just to name a few.