WRAL.com at the State Fair

State Fair has blue-ribbon contests for cake, cheese, beer, bees

Posted October 7, 2012
Updated October 8, 2012

— Photography, applesauce, beer, cheese, flowers, crafts, decorated cakes, even honey and bees — the fight for blue ribbons in these competitions at the North Carolina State Fair is hot.

NC State Fair Photos, maps, games: North Carolina State Fair

Beyond the attention-grabbing rides, games and fried food of the midway, the culinary, horticulture and crafts competitions have a long history at the State Fair.

"It's a part that a lot of people kind of ignore, and I wish more people would come in to see this stuff. This is what I come to see," said Catherine Stewart, of Raleigh, who is entering the photography contest.

This year, many of the contests have more entries than ever before, said Reba Hill, who manages the competitions.

More people are growing and canning their own vegetables or taking up crafts, she said, and while the prize money isn't much, they are entering these competitions for one big reason.

State Fair boasts blue ribbon champions State Fair boasts blue ribbon champions

"They want the ribbon. They want that ribbon badly. And they want a big ribbon," Hill said.

Anna Browning, 12, of Raleigh, hopes her applesauce will bring home a big, blue ribbon this year. Her recipes have won them in the past.

"It feels good, because I accomplished something," Anna said.

Stewart holds similar expectations for the photo from Fort Worth, Texas, she's entering.

"To get the blue ribbon would be great. If I don't, that's OK. It's a great time," she said.

The 2012 State Fair runs Oct. 11-21. The art and photography contest displays are in the Kerr Scott Building, and the home goods competition is in the Education Building.


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  • leogauthier1959 Oct 10, 2012

    Looking forward to the NC State Fair again this year, moved down from Massachusetts in 03/2011 and will be at each NC State Fair while I live here, Gotta LOVE the food - displays - competitions - people - MUSIC - Gotta LOVE the FAIR !

  • UpChuck Oct 8, 2012

    Why do you Negative Nancy's even bother to comment? No, that's not a rhetorical question. I plan on going to the fair this year for the first time in several years; looking forward to it.

  • prjohnso72 Oct 8, 2012

    Is there going to be another Carney Drug bust like last year???? That could be worth a trip to the Fair!

  • catwoman2 Oct 8, 2012

    State Fair...red neck smokers convention.

    I know and I CAN'T wait!!!!!!!! : ) Love the fair!

  • me2you Oct 8, 2012

    State Fair...red neck smokers convention.

  • WhysoMad Oct 8, 2012

    I rather like the fair. You can go and spend A LOT of money if that is your thing. Or you can go to see the free displays like this article highlights. The shows at Dorton are also good and pretty inexpensive. The sound quality in Dorton isn't the best in the world, but it isn't that bad as long as the bands don't get to loud.

  • TeresaBee Oct 8, 2012

    Boy, I'll tell you one thing, if the economy has been so bad, The State Fair seems to prove it wrong. Will we have a record attendance this year AGAIN?

  • dontstopnow Oct 8, 2012

    No thanks to the State Fair. Not my cup of tea. I worked there in the ice cream concessions for about 8 years until I saw where a young man, reported to be part of a gang out of Durham at that time 20 years ago, was shot and killed at the top of the midway where two of the ice cream concessions were located. Was the worst thing ever and I have never even wanted to be in that crowd since. Have no plans to ever return.