I really love fairs. Like a whole lot. I didn't enter my crafts until these past few years that I've been living in Ross County again, but I love doing it and I'm so glad I've gotten into it. I was due to give a talk to the Columbus Modern Quilters this past week about my experience entering fairs but baby jeep had other plans for me as I ended up spending well over a week on a tire for the front end. So, with that being said, let's talk fairs!
I know I missed the Franklin County fair, it was July 18th through the 25th. Licking County, which is actually The Hartford Fair, is from August 9th to the 15th. Fairfield County is held from October 11th to the 17th. The Pickaway County Fair was held from June 22nd through the 27th. And, lastly Ross County is from August 8th through the 15th. I've linked back to the local counties on those links, but if you go to this website you can find the dates of all the county fairs for 2015.
I entered the Ross County Fair on a whim about four years ago. I really couldn't even tell you what I entered, I didn't really know what I was doing, I just along for the ride. I didn't expect to win anything, and I was shocked to find I did win some of my classes. The way Ross County is set up is that there are "departments" of crafts and within each department, there are individual "classes". So, I could enter in the quilt department, but enter five different classes based off the different sections of the class. For example, you can enter into the Quilting - Mini/wall hanging, Quilting - group quilt, Quilting - Machine stitched, and Quilting - Hand stitched. However, you cannot enter the same quilt into multiple classes, and you can't enter it two years in a row. How would you be able to do that? We have a great class called "Unfinished Object" :) I have entered, and won, the knitting and crochet Unfinished Object class, but then I couldn't enter it again the next year if it was finished, I would have to wait a year. (actually, the projects I won those classes with....neither are finished! haha). Make sure you are entering the class/department that best fits what craft you are showing. If you're unsure, talk to the people running the show! I've never once found them to not be helpful in any way they can be! Make sure that you read all the rules to your fair as well - if the quilts have to be hand bound, hand bind them, etc.
Entering the fair isn't about winning. Don't get me wrong, it is a major plus, especially if your fair gives out prize winnings, but to me, it is about showing people that quilting/knitting/crochet/crafting isn't for tiny old ladies in nursing homes. We are all younger with new families and new ideas of what our crafts can look like, and we have the right to show that to people. I can't help but strongly encourage you to enter all the competitions that you can, it is rewarding, it is challenging, it is a great and amazing thing to do to share you craft and talent with others!! I have learned so much just by entering into the fair, it has helped push me along to learn new things, it has pushed me to actually finish things because I use the fair deadline as a reason to get sh*t done! :)
Have you entered your local fair? Have you entered any competitions?