Columbia County 4-H director Shirley Williamson believes that arts and crafts are an essential part of a real fair.
"If it only has rides and games, then it's a carnival," she said. "The exhibitions, in addition to those other things, are what make it fair. It's tradition."
Williamson and other members of 4-H and the Merchants Association of Columbia County were on hand at the fairgrounds Saturday to accept entries for the exhibition contest of the 2003 Columbia County Fall Fair being held Oct. 30 through Nov. 8.
More than $2,000 in prize money and ribbons will be given away to youth and adult exhibitors at the fair, which will be at the fairgrounds on Columbia Road. Last year, nearly 1,200 people entered works in 40 different categories ranging from homemade cloths to handmade jewelry. Participants were allowed to enter one work per category.
First- through third-place winners will be chosen in each category, and there also will be best in class and best in show prizes.
The exhibitions will be kept on display behind a locked glass case through the duration of the fair.
"I've always liked doing arts and crafts, and this is a chance for me to see how good I am against other people," said 12-year-old Riverside Middle School pupil Heather Riddle, who won prizes in three different categories last year. "I'm going to be doing it anyway, I might as well enter it. It's fun."
Youth categories are separated into four ages groups from pre-K to 12th grade.
Judging takes place before the start of the fair, and ribbons will be displayed with winning works.
"Judges are looking at the quality of the work," said Jillian Rumbaugh, a Lakeside High School senior and 4-H volunteer. "Judges are going to be looking for how detailed something is and its appearance."
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