Agriculture contests start Saturday
by Rachel Davis
Sep 04, 2012 | 785 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Northwest Alabama Fair may not start officially until Sept. 11 but the main focus of the fair will actually begin on Sept.8. Participants in the arts and crafts, produce and canned foods competition can set up their booths for judging on that day, between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m.

“We are an agriculture fair,” Brian Grace, president of the Jasper Jaycees and vice president of the Northwest Alabama Fair Board, said. “We do have the carnival stuff, but we are trying to promote our local produce and things.”

The categories are farm and garden crops, canned food, baked foods, sewing and needlework, flowers and arts, crafts and photography.

The farm and garden crop division includes 45 different vegetable categories, 14 fruit categories and a variety of others that include pumpkins, watermelons and corn. The canned food division will judge canned vegetables and fruit, jams, jellies, preserves and dried fruit. The baked foods include cakes, pies cookies, candies and breads. The sewing and needlepoint category includes 36 different household linen competitions, 16 crocheted and knitted competitions, rugs and 28 various garment categories. The flower category includes arrangements of cut, dried and artificial flowers as well as potted plants. The art, craft and photography division includes all types of art writing and photography, broken down by age group. There are also youth divisions within each category.

“They bring in all kinds of stuff they have worked on all year,” Grace said

Because of all the effort residents put into their entries, the judging is serious business. Judges are brought in from out of town to judge the entries on that Saturday and the official awards will be made on Tuesday when the fair opens. Last year, more than $13,000 was given out in total prize money for the winning booths.

“We’re there to give money back to the community,” Grace said.

The last day to register for a booth is Sept. 5 and space can be reserved by calling the Walker County Extension Office at 221-3392.