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2013 Ag Requirements
Scarecrows and vegetables and chickens–oh my!These plus many other creatures and creations are on display for visitors to enjoy at the 171st Columbia County Fair this Labor Day Weekend. You can also test your skill or simply enjoy watching some good old-fashioned, good-natured competitions.
One of the oldest county fairs in the country, this venerable original remains true to its farming roots and wholesome community spirit. An integral part of the region, the fair celebrates the joys, skill, and hard work of farming, quilting, weaving, riding, cooking, and other arts and crafts.
More than 300 exhibition and competition categories cover a wide range of agricultural and homemaking arts, as well as a photo contest for amateur shutter bugs. More than $6,000 in cash premiums will be awarded to the Best Registered Dairy Cattle, Poultry, and Sheep contests, and nearly $2,000 to the Best Wool Products. Additional premiums go to the 4-H members and their animals. In 2012, a total of $25,000 was awarded.
Showcasing everything from floral arrangements to baked goods to scarecrows and pottery. The fair's domestic arts and crafts exhibits are greatly expanded this year, nestled in Four Corners Hall. Be sure to check them out. Categories include: Canning; Baking; Fine Arts; Weaving / Basketry / Woodwork; Flowers; Hobbies/ Crafts; Needlework; Youth Division and Special Culinary Competition.
The Quilt Show is housed in a room of its own in the Octagon Building. With 18 entry categories, submissions range from the simple to the complex, and include original designs as well as such traditional patterns as the Log Cabin, Morning Star, Ohio Star, Trip Around the World, Double Irish Chain, and Triple Irish Chain. Sponsored by The Bank of Greene County
With tiny chicks, hefty heifers, and plenty of other creatures great and small, the fair is alive with animals of all shapes and sizes. You're sure to enjoy watching the best of the best walk off with cash prizes and blue ribbons in the Show Ring. Besides goats and swine, check out the competition ring or meander through the barns to view other fine two- and four-legged animals. A partial listing follows.
CATTLE From Ayrshires to Milking Shorthorns, from Guernseys to Brown Swiss, the region's dairy cattle draw admiring glances, as do competitors in the Beef Cattle Show. Dairy Cattle Showing, Sponsored by Stewart's Shops. And Beef Cattle Show, Sponsored by Carolina-Eastern Vail. Inc.
SHEEP Two dozen breeds, from the better known Shetland and Merino to the more exotic Tunis and Ramboullet, fill the sheep pens. Sponsored by Empire Livestock Marketing
POULTRY Open to more than 140 varieties, the poultry exhibit offers 15 sections of some very exotic looking birds: American, Mediterranean, Asiatic, English, French, Dutch, Game Bantams, Ornamental Bantams, Guineas, Ducks, Geese, Pigeons, and more. Sponsored by Agway Chatham-Claverack-Millerton-Gt. Barrington
HORSES Equestrians of all ages gather at the fair's Open Horse Show Monday. Riders of both English and Western disciplines, juniors (age 18 and under) and adults are invited to show in three dozen classes. Sponsored by Cedar Flow Contracting & Excavating
Growers are again welcomed at the fair. The Fruits & Vegetables competition has more than 100 classes for everything from apples and pears to strawberries, squash, tomatoes, peppers, beans and oh so much more. Prizes are awarded for color, size, unusual shapes, form and condition.
COLUMBIA COUNTY'S GOT TALENT Not just all singing or all dancing. There's more - much more. Participants can show us their stuff in any facet of vocal, instrumental or dance. Like rap? Show tunes? Ballroom dancing? How about the banjo or accordion? In this competition, the sky's the limit! The event is chock full of adults and kids who can't wait to get up there on that stage and compete. Sponsored by The Lofgren Agency
COLUMBIA COUNTY BOUNTY showcases the bounty of the county's very varied farming communities, from traditional fruit and vegetable farms to organic, community supported agriculture, and other niche farms that dot the landscape. Contributing to our region's beautiful landscape and appeal, exhibitors will display speciality fruits and vegetables, flowers and herbs, and even some heritage breed animals. Plus the farmers are on hand to answer questions about their particular approach to farming. Sponsored by Columbia Hudson Partnership
CULINARY COOKOFF Attention all closet Iron Chefs. Attention future Rachael Rays. This year's The Bounty Cooking Contest not only offers the top winner $500, 2nd place $300 and 3rd place $200, but a category for young cooks age 12 and under will be awarded $500.00 for 1st Place, $300.00 for 2nd Place and $200.00 for 3rd Place. The contest is open to both amateurs and professionals. The only criterion is that most of the ingredients must have been grown locally. Dishes will be judged by professional chefs on presentation, originality and taste in one of three categories: entrée, dessert, side dish. Sponsored by Ginsberg's Inc.
FLOWER SHOW This year's flower show offers two sections. In the booth display, the theme is "Be A Kid Again" which will be designed to be educational. Picture rich auburn chrysanthemums for Fall and maybe some green-edged parrot tulips showing up in a Spring arrangement. Breathtaking! In the demonstration section, the clubs will present a gardening and educational program daily at 2:00 PM each day of the Fair.
SCHOOL WORK A trip to the fair isn't complete without visiting the little Red School House, with its grand display of art work by area students. A favorite must-see exhibit, all local schools participate, pre-school youngsters through high school seniors. Arts in education, is alive and well in Columbia County, and this exhibit celebrates that creative expression. Sponsored by Columbia-Greene Community College
WOOL BOOTH After the kids get through playing with the little lambs in the sheep barn, they can see the sheep shearing. Then, at the Wool Booth, they can see the finished product – beautifully displayed. Watch nimble fingers spin wool. Marvel at the subtle shades of vegetable dyed yarn. And then see lots and lots of wonderful handmade woolen goods – sweaters, socks, coverlets, and lace weight wool products made from yarn as fine as cobwebs. Experts are on hand to answer questions all day every day. And, even though there are examples of felted wool and wonderful pieced woolen wall hangings, this booth is a knitter's paradise. Sponsored by Pepsi Beverages Co.
SCHOOL GIRL QUEEN Tradition marches on as young women compete in the 75th annual Columbia County School Girl Queen Contest. With judging based on personality, poise, and appearance, contestants from all-six public schools in the county vie for cash prizes in this competition filled with school spirit. Sponsored by Columbia Greene Community College
HERITAGE VILLAGE EXHIBIT Fly-tying, jewelry making, tin smithing, iron work, all handcrafts that have been superseded by mechanization. Here in Heritage Village, see craftspeople working the old fashioned way – with their hands. See a miniature waterwheel works demonstrating the oldest power source on earth - one that just might be meaningful in the 21st century. And get a chance to not only watch something being made, but, if you choose, purchase an object to take home – a hand-crafted keepsake and, just possibly, an heirloom for tomorrow. Sponsored by Mulhern Gas Co.
BLUE RIBBON GROUNDS - Wondering how all the beautiful flowers and foliage got here? Have the pleasure of viewing a concept garden created and installed by Berkshire Farms Center for Youth Horticultural Department. Not only do the gardeners design their 60' x 20' plot by the Little Red School House, they also create a tranquil environment with a waterfall / fountain area. Also they provide almost all of our beautiful plantings, they grow the flowers themselves at their school! Check out the display and see their great work. Add to that, the gardening assistance of Lisa Lafferty and her Edelweiss Farm and you can't beat the planning and planting to make the fairgrounds look wonderful. Make sure to "stop and smell the roses!"
WATERMELON CONTEST The one and only eating contest that's good for your diet. How fast can you eat a slice of melon? If you're the fastest in your age group, you will be awarded a trophy. Maybe you'll be top seed.
ICE CREAM CONTEST Our first annual ice cream eating contest welcomes all takers - men, women and children. All they need is a hearty appetite and a love of ice cold ICE CREAM. For these contestants it's a dream come true. For the rest of us it's great fun and gives new meaning to the phrase "brain-freeze." Sponsored by Stewart's Shops
PHOTO CONTEST Calling all amateur shutter bugs! Whether you enjoy photographing landscapes or livestock, people or parades, display your best shot taken in Columbia County. Cash prizes and ribbons are awarded by a panel of professional photographers based on creativity, composition, impact, story-telling, technical quality, and presentation. (Professionals may submit photographs for display but are not eligible to compete). Sponsored by Photo Art by Ken Bovat