North Carolina State Fair

Blue ribbon fever heats up State Fair

Entries in State Fair competitions have jumped by nearly in fifth in all but one category. Fair officials said the recession likely spurred interest in categories such as horticulture, which grew by nearly two-thirds.

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2008 N.C. State Fair ribbon winners 1
RALEIGH, N.C. — More people will vie for blue ribbons in every category of competition at this year's State Fair, from baking and canning to photography and flower-growing.

Entries are up by at least nearly a fifth in all but the largest category – flowers, which rose by 6.2 percent to 7,662 entries.

Horticulture saw the largest increase, jumping by nearly two-thirds, or more than 1,000 entries.

"We are so excited so many people are interested in showing off their skills in competition at the State Fair," fair manager Wesley Wyatt said. "We expect to have very full display case, making for great competitive shows for fairgoers."

The second-largest jump happened in handicrafts and hobbies. Over 600 more people than last year entered that category, which includes quilting, needlepoint work, weaving and embroidery.

Food preservation is also making a comeback, jumping by nearly 300 to a total of 1,360 entries this year.

The 4-H spirit is also evidently alive as the North Carolina chapter celebrates its 100th anniversary. Entries in that category are up from 810 to 1,153.

The down economy has likely helped spur the quick jump in entries, said Betty Shaw, who oversees the entry department.

She said that people are more interested in crafting trends that can be done at home and in food preservation and canning that stretches out supplies of homegrown fruits and vegetables.


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