State Fair News

State Fair of Texas may be off but blue ribbon contests will go on

State Fair of Texas may be off but blue ribbon contests will go on

Quilt Plano
Quilters still have a shot in 2020. Photo courtesy of Quilters Guild of Plano

The 2020 edition of the State Fair of Texas may have been felled by COVID-19, but the quilting will survive. So will the canned preserves, pickled okra, and Christmas tree ornaments made of wine corks spray-painted gold.

According to a release, the State Fair's annual Creative Arts competitions will still take place in 2020, allowing veterans and amateurs to compete for blue ribbons in categories such as photography, needlepoint, dolls, and more.

Organizers were committed to maintaining as many participation opportunities as possible, even without a fair. They've issued a revised 2020 Creative Arts Handbook with more than 900 arts & crafts contests — down from the usual 1,100-plus contests, but these are the ones that can take place in a safe environment for participants.

What's not happening: the Big Tex BBQ & Chili Challenge, as well as the cooking contests, in categories such as best cake, best pie, and best dish made with Spam.

The following departments will showcase contests:

  • Fine Art
  • Ceramics and Hand-Painted China
  • Designer Craftsman
  • Dolls
  • Canning
  • Hobby Collections
  • Holiday Corner
  • Needlepoint, Crewel, and Counted Cross Stitch
  • Needlework and Sewing
  • Afghans, Rugs, Quilts, and Bedspreads
  • Photography
  • Glue-a-Shoe
  • Pumpkin Challenge

They've also extended the deadline to register to September 1.

Contests may be added or adjusted for the revised 2020 Handbook if any orders are in place by local, state, or federal agencies, or if health and safety concerns exist.

They're encouraging participants to use the mail-in option for arts & crafts contest submissions, but if you insist on hand-delivering your item, they've also delayed the drop-off dates to September 9-13, under social distancing protocols.

So for all those artisans, painters, chefs, woodworkers, quilters, designers, inventors, collectors, seamstresses, bakers, photographers, and decorators, whether child or adult, amateur or professional, you still have a shot.

And there's always 2021, for which they already have a date: September 24 through October 17. Keep the candle burning!