Pipi's Pasture: Updating the fair book

The 2014 Moffat County Fair is roughly 10 months away, but fair board members, extension personnel and county fair volunteers already are busy making plans for the event. That includes getting the 2014 fair book ready for the printer.

For readers who aren’t used to exhibiting items at the fair, the fair book is a guide book of fair information, including the rules, entry information, schedules, special contests and more. Each year, based on feedback from judges, superintendents, fair volunteers and community people, the fair book is updated. Among others, there might be the clarification of rules, the addition of special events and contests and changes in entry information for open class exhibits.

The 2014 fair book will not be finished for a while, but this week’s Pipi’s Pasture features some changes that were made in open class judging at the pavilion and grandstands areas about two years ago.

One change was made in age divisions for open class judging. These age divisions probably will stay the same in the 2014 fair book: preschool (0 through 5 years old); youth (6 to 9 years old); pre-teen (10 to 12 years old); teen (13 to18 years old); open (19 and older); and group (3 or more people). One example of an entry in the group division might be an exhibit completed by a grandparent and two grandchildren.

In addition, there are classes for amateur and professional exhibitors. The criteria for “professional” includes: teaches for pay; has sold more than $500 within the past year; has won a major award in a national show or exhibit within the past five years; or is a professional by trade.

Another change was made in consolidating individual entries. Consider the canning division of the fair, for example. Before 2011, the fair book listed about 21 kinds of jelly, including apple, cherry, chokecherry, crab apple and so forth. Each was a separate class. The problem was that often there was just one jelly entered in a class. Judging was a problem because often there wasn’t anything to judge an entry against.

So, based on suggestions from judges, the jelly division was changed to include four classes: fruit, herb, syrup and vegetable. However, the exhibitor can enter more than one jar of jelly in each class (providing the jars are a different kind of jelly). An exhibitor might enter strawberry, apple, chokecherry and grape flavors of jelly in the class. (Check the 2014 fair book for the number of jelly entries that can be made in a class.)

In the case that several exhibitors enter a certain flavor of jelly, the division coordinator and judge might make a special class.

The jellies are judged against one another according to container, clearness, color, texture and taste — for workmanship and quality.

Besides the canning division of open class judging, entries have been consolidated in other areas as well: foods, sewing, needlework, quilting, crafts and hobbies, construction toys, woodworking, leather craft, arts, photography and horticulture. The idea is to make judging more competitive.

Even though the 2014 fair books aren’t ready yet, you can pick up a 2013 fair book at the extension office, 539 Barclay St., or you can check out the website at www.moffatcountyfair.com where you can download the fair book. You can speak with extension personnel by calling 970-824-9180.

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