Has your garden and yard been particularly productive this summer? Are the flowers more vibrant and the fruits or vegetables more perfect than ever? They are prime candidates for entries in the Twin Falls County Fair being held Aug. 30 through Sept. 4 in Filer.
It is satisfying to see your own flowers, fruits or vegetables on display. Seeing how they rate next to the efforts of others can result in a blue ribbon!
If this is something you would like to do, go to tfcfair.com and look at the premium book categories under cultural divisions. There is a flower division and a separate produce and fruit division. Look through the classes and categories to find what you have in your garden that would fit into an entry. The premium sheets for each department can also be picked up at the fair office at the fairgrounds in Filer.
For instance, if your roses are particularly stunning, look under the rose category in the flower division for the type of rose you have and the color. Enter that rose for display in the fair by filling out the entry sheet in the premium book and emailing your entries or bring them to the fairgrounds by Aug. 25. The mail-in date has passed. You can also enter on Aug. 26 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. or Aug. 27 from 12–5 p.m. in the flower building at the fairgrounds. Then simply pick your rose display and bring it to the fairgrounds ready to display during entry times on Aug. 28 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. or Aug. 29 from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. Judging is at 10 am on Aug. 29.
What about fruits and vegetables? There is another division for those. Look through the classes and categories to match your possible entries. Mail your entries by Aug. 21. You can email your entries or take them to the fairgrounds by Aug. 25. Enter at the produce building on Aug. 26 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Aug. 27 from 12-5 p.m. Bring your fruits and vegetables to the fairgrounds on Aug. 26 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Aug. 27 from 12-5 p.m. or Aug. 28 from 8 to 8:30 a.m. Judging is at 9 a.m. on Aug. 28.
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There is a class in both flowers and fruits and vegetables for junior gardeners ages 18 and under. The juniors must raise the items in their entries.
In all cases, pay particular attention to the rules and regulations for each exhibit. Be sure to pick the right number for display and make sure they match each other as closely as possible. They should be the same size, shape and color as specified in the fair premium book. Display them as requested. You will need to provide your own vase or pot for your floral exhibits, but the fruit and vegetable department will provide paper plates for display. Pick and deliver your entries as close to judging as possible to provide the freshest display for the judges. Buildings are closed during judging. You can see how your entries have placed by attending the fair. If your entries have won ribbons, you can collect your premium money at the Livestock Premium Office on the fairgrounds any time from Aug. 31 through Sept. 4, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Premium money will not be mailed. First place blue ribbons win $2 to $3, second place red ribbons get $1.50 to $2.50 and third place white ribbons are worth $1.00 to $2.00 all depending on the class. Produce, fruit and flower vases can be picked up on Sept. 5 from 12-7 p.m.
If this sounds particularly confusing or complicated, don’t worry, it will become clearer. Studying a copy of the premium list for the department that interests you will make the process simpler. There is a handy calendar in each one that details the important dates and times. Printing off a hard copy for use in the garden is also a good idea.
There is a hazard involved in displaying your garden products in the fair: It can become an obsession! Every year is a new year, and getting started is only half of the fun. Next year you can plan your flowers and vegetable garden around what can be entered. Perhaps you will even plant a couple of new fruit trees with prize winning entries in mind. Displays at the fair add another dimension to your garden satisfaction. Why not try out an entry or two to get started in this life long tradition?