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Make it a fair year: Competing at the Utah County Fair

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Chris Bairdhttp://www.servedaily.com
Chris is a family man with a beautiful wife and four kids. Three Girls, One Boy. He enjoys playing basketball, being outdoors, and the old normal.

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The Utah County Fair is one of my favorite events of the year. The Lego display never ceases to amaze. The Demolition Derby is always epic with at least one flipped car. But what I really love is the opportunity to enter the fair competitions. If you aren’t entering items in the Open Class exhibit at the Utah County Fair, you are missing out. The fair is over for 2017, but you can participate next year. You can spend the year working on your projects, share them with the community, and be rewarded with prize money. Make it a goal right now to prepare items for the fair next year. You have a lot of options too. The categories are Clothing and Handwork, Creative Arts, Fine Arts, Floriculture, Foods and Canning, Horticulture, Photography, Quilts, Special Needs, and Small Animals.

You can take a community education art class, like ceramics or painting, and enter your creations. Nebo Community Ed puts on some great photography and quilting classes as well. Try something new and then share it. If your kids do the Spanish Fork Youth Arts Festival, they can enter their projects from that. Just get creative.

My first year participating was last year. I had completed my first quilt and wanted to enter. While standing in line to enter my quilt, I noticed people with big totes full of children’s art projects. I curiously asked and found out that ANYONE can enter Open Class at the fair. So I went home and gathered some of our best art projects, even a watercolor by my 4-month-old son. It really is open for every age.

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The bonus is that you get prize money. First place gets $3, second place gets $2, and third place gets $1. Everyone gets a ribbon for each entry. For certain entries, like quilts you also get feedback. So our first year participating we excitedly arrived two days later to see our entries along with our ribbons. It was a lot of fun to see what everyone in the community had contributed. My daughters were excited to see their ribbons. Then at the end of the fair, we picked up their prize money. For young children, it can be difficult to earn money so the $10 or $6 they earned was a really big deal to them. Afterward, we went to Toys R Us and they bought a toy.

This year I entered some photographs that I took through the year and a quilt that I made for my son with a pirate theme. We planned ahead and my daughters had some art projects that they had been working on during the year. Eliza made a quilt for her Hedwig toy (as in Harry Potter’s owl). She spent a lot of time choosing the right fabrics. It was her first quilt and she had fun. Olivia did a painting of a farm with lots of colors. Olivia had a self-portrait and Eliza had a painting of flowers. We got a variety of ribbons. At the end of the fair, Olivia got $10, Eliza got $17, and I got $20. We had a lot of fun, shared our projects, and made money.

So break out those sewing machines, head to the craft store, get out your paintbrushes, and get those creative juices flowing. Winter is coming and you have a new hobby, getting ready to compete in Open Class at the fair. The Utah County Fair is held each August in Spanish Fork at the fairgrounds. Also, it is staffed by some pretty amazing volunteers. So grateful for all their hard work to accept entries, judge, and oversee the fair. Thank you, Open Class volunteers and all those that work so hard to make the fair possible!

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Chris Bairdhttp://www.servedaily.com
Chris is a family man with a beautiful wife and four kids. Three Girls, One Boy. He enjoys playing basketball, being outdoors, and the old normal.

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