Fair needs art, horticulture entries

MIAMI COUNTY — While sheltering in place, did you have time to pick up a new hobby? Did you teach yourself how to make a pie from scratch? Did you dust off your easel and paint? Many Americans found themselves with more free time than usual during the pandemic, and many home-based activities like gardening, crafts, sewing and one of the most popular, sourdough bread making, started trending.

Miami County Agricultural Society Art and Horticulture Hall Committee Chair Amber Weldy is encouraging those who got creative in the kitchen, garden or craft aisle to show off those skills at this year’s Miami County Fair at the Art and Horticulture halls.

Entry forms and packets are due by 5 p.m. at the office this Saturday. Each entry is $1 per category. Adult participants must also purchase a season pass for $30, 4-H members can use their Junior Fair pass or provide their club’s name and children 8 and under only pay the entry fee of $1. Weldy said the fair office is open 9 a.m to 5 p.m. through Saturday and she’ll be available to answer questions. Weldy said anyone with questions may call or text her at (937) 477-5428 and leave a message and she’ll return their call.

Entry drop of is Wednesday Aug 12 from 1 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. Entry tags may be picked up in the fair office one week prior or on entry day. Tags are attached to each item and the bottom part is kept by the entrant for claiming at the end of the fair.

Art and Horticulture Hall entry packets can be found online at www.miamicountyohiofair.com or they are available for pick up at the fair office. Those wanting to participate can just fill out the form for each item they want to enter and exhibitors may enter one entry per each item in a class. The form can then be taken to the fair office and participants will bring their items to the fairgrounds on Aug 12.

Entries can be picked up after the fair on Friday Aug. 21 from 2-7 p.m. or on Saturday Aug. 22 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

“As I tell everyone, there won’t be anything to look at during the fair if you don’t bring it,” she said.

Weldy said this year the fair board is working very hard to give the people of Miami County as normal a fair as possible. This includes the Art and the Horticulture halls.

“Believe me, everyone wants to see your blue ribbon worthy items,” she said.

Weldy encourages everyone who found time to crochet a baby blanket, or tried a new recipe or impressed themselves with their gardening skills, to join in the fair fun this year. She also said if people have an item that they’d like to enter but don’t know exactly where to enter it, she’d be glad to find a place for it.

Weldy’s family has made it a tradition to enter their variety of fruits, jams, jellies and other homemade goodies over the years. Her family competes among one another for “bragging rights” for the rest of the year as part of their family’s fair fun. She encourages other families, card clubs, co-workers, neighbors and other groups to compete with one another to see who goes home with more ribbons than the other.

“This is the best part, especially if you win. You get to show off your ribbon to everyone. Even if you don’t win a ribbon, people still can see how hard you worked. And maybe your items will inspire others to enter the next year. Over the years, my family has had our own competition among ourselves. We enter items in the same category to see who made the best one. Then we have bragging rights for the whole year until the next fair,” she said.

Weldy shared how last year, her mother Shary Weldy, brother Marc Weldy, niece Ari Weldy and herself all walked away with Best of Show ribbons for different entries.

“Our family cans fruits, vegetables, jams and jellies during the summer and fall. It’s a process that we love to do. At the end of a canning session, each of us will look over our jars and set aside the ones we deem ‘fair worthy.’ I can’t think of a time that my family has not participated in the Miami County Fair. Whether it was through 4-H or in the Art and Horticulture halls, entering items in the fair was a family thing,” she said.

For more information visit www.miamicountyohiofair.com for entry forms, categories and more.