Get your creative juices flowing for State Fair competitions

state fair of virginiaCreative and talented Virginians can now enter this year’s State Fair of Virginia competitions. Guidelines for more than 1,200 categories are posted on the fair’s website

From hand crafts to creative cuisine, to crops and pickles, “there is a competition for everyone’s talents—from the home baker to the sketch artist to the home canner,” noted Stuart Sanders, the fair’s assistant executive director.

The 2019 competition guidelines are now online at Most entries are due Sept. 5, but check specific information for each category.

There are only a couple of months for Virginians to hone their pie-baking skills, fine-tune their knitting, needlework or sewing projects, or find trash they can turn into treasure.

Back by popular demand is Virginia Flea Market Flip, the State Fair’s version of HGTV’s Flea Market Flip. In this competition, 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. 5.

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 Danish Contest for adults and a King Arthur Flour Pineapple Upside Down Cake Contest for youth. The Virginia Peanut Growers Association is sponsoring an Asian-inspired recipe competition for adults and a peanut butter bar contest for youth. A new cake category this year challenges bakers to submit their best mermaid or unicorn confection.

There also are opportunities for oil and watercolor artists, calligraphers, woodworkers, quilters, knitters and much more. There is even a category for antique Virginia agriculture advertising items.

Youth participating in the creative arts competition can create a papier-mache version of a farm animal to resemble those found at the fair.

“The fair showcases the best of Virginia, and our general competitions give people the opportunity to submit their best work,” Sanders said. “All winners will receive a blue ribbon, and some of the categories award cash prizes or scholarships. Most importantly, winners receive bragging rights that they’ve created Virginia’s best of the best.”

There are almost 600 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 terrific terrarium or outstanding orchid. 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 well over 100 preserved food classes for pickles, jellies, jams, syrups, vinegars and more.

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