When you next go into the Expo building, take a sharp left as soon as you go through the lobby and into the main building. In the past you would have seen boxes of apples and chairs up against that wall. This year, however, you'll see a series of entries to a new contest -- the Market Display contest, with this year's theme being "Autumn's Bounty."
This year's Fair premium book describes the display this way: "A market display consisting of a minimum of 12 or more different produce items which can include vegetables, fruits and nuts in any combination. Different varieties count as different items. All produce must have been grown in 2012 by the exhibitor(s). Other materials may be used for decorative purposes."
"This contest is a good opportunity for groups," April Brazlich, Superintendent of Horticulture, told me. "We got great entries this year, and luckily we had enough room for them."
And she's right. Some of the entries stuck with warm, muted fall colors and decorations, while others took advantage of the wide variety of produce grown in North Carolina and had a huge variety of colors. These contest entries make an excellent addition to the Expo building and a nice compliment to the horticulture entries of individual fruits and vegetables.
As we move into the last weekend of the Fair, not everything in the Expo building is looking as fresh and green as it did on day 1, but the Market Display contest entries are still gorgeous. Take a look!