New Competitions Announced for 2021 State Fair

Decorated Christmas Trees, painted rocks and stuffed sock toys! Those are just a few examples of the new competitions coming to this year’s state fair. After a year with no fair, these exciting new competitions will prove to have been worth the wait!

This year’s new competitions were created in an effort to encourage competition entries as these simpler projects can be completed within weeks rather than some projects that can take a whole year. No matter your age, skill level or interests, there is bound to be a competition for you!

 “Our hope is that these sorts of categories will serve as a gateway to getting people hooked on entering items in the fair. We always need new competitors, and the fair can always use new competitions,” said competitive exhibits director, John Buettner.

In the Home Furnishings Department, there is typically a Decorated Tables contest, however, that has been replaced this year by a Decorated Christmas Tree contest. After registering, exhibitors will be chosen by a raffle and will be notified by phone and email on Sept. 16 if they were selected to participate. The N.C. State Fair will furnish tree stands and four-to-six-foot live trees for exhibitors to decorate. Trees will be judged based on creativity, overall design, and theme conformance.

“Since North Carolina is one of the primary Christmas tree growing states, we thought it would be nice to include decorated trees as a category,” said Buettner.

Planted Wheelbarrows have been added to the Flower Show, which is the largest competition at the fair with over 11,650 entries. The contest will have an adult, youth, and special needs division. Extra wheelbarrows will be available the week prior to the fair if a gardener were to need one.

In the Handicrafts and Hobbies Department, Painted Rocks and Decorated Footwear have been added. The Painted Rocks contest is part of the Decorative Painting category. Contestants can use any type of rock, any type of paint and use any type of technique, however, rocks must be one pound or less. There will be four classes of Painted Rocks: Mandala Design, Message Design, Single Color Design and Plants/Animals. For Decorated Footwear, contestants can decorate either a single shoe or a pair of shoes. The footwear does not need to function as a shoe; however, pairs must be matching in design. The Decorated Footwear category will also feature a Decorated Sock contest for children and participants with special needs in which you can turn a sock into a stuffed toy. Display space is limited so it is requested that all entries be small.

There will also be several “walk-up” competitions taking place in Dorton Arena that do not require registration. These competitions are designed for children and will include activities such as cookie stacking, rubber chicken flinging, cookie decorating, sugar cube building and team cake decorating

The important dates to note for these competitions are as follows:

July 1 – N.C. State Fair Competition Premium Books launch containing all rules and regulations for contests and competitions as well as livestock competitions.

August 1 – Entry registration opens.

September 15 – Deadline for entry registration. Online entry forms are due at midnight while walk-in paper forms are due at 5:00 pm. Mailed in paper forms must be postmarked on or before September 15th to be eligible.

Explore your creative side, use your imagination, and enter one of this year’s competitions! Who knows? Maybe you could be the one bringing home the blue ribbon!

You can learn more about all of the competitions at this year’s fair at

About Christa Dutton

Hey y'all! My name is Christa Dutton, aka Blue Ribbon. I'm a sophomore at Wake Forest University majoring in Communication with minors in Entrepreneurship and Journalism. Go deacs! I was born and raised in NC, and the State Fair is a beloved tradition of mine. I don't think I've ever missed a year of the fair. So you can imagine how excited I am to spend my summer working as a public relations intern for the State Fair! I can't wait to see you all at the fairgrounds this fall, but in the meantime, follow along with me here on Deep Fried!

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