By Cheril Vernon

Messenger Copy Editor

HOUSTON COUNTY – Those interested in competing in the 2017 Houston County Home and Garden Fair have until Friday, March 17 to sign up to enter one of eight categories ranging from photography, art, food, horticulture, crafts, woodworking, canning and quilts.

“We encourage everyone who is interested to participate. If you are a baker or you are crafty, there are lots of opportunities to enter. You can enter as many entries as you like,” Houston County Extension Agent Mandy Patrick told The Messenger this week.

The 2017 Houston County Fair, Youth Livestock Show and Home and Garden Fair are set for the first full week in April, starting Tuesday, April 4 through Friday, April 7. The Home and Garden Fair will be held at the Crockett Civic Center, located at 1100 Edmiston Dr. in Crockett.

Home and Garden Fair participants will have the opportunity to check in their entries from 5 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, April 4 and from 8 to 9 a.m. Wednesday, April 5.

“We set up in the civic center. We close for judging on Wednesday morning and then we open back up that evening so everyone can see the results,” Patrick said. “We keep things on display on Wednesday and Thursday.”

The Home and Garden Fair has opportunities for all ages. Elementary students in grades kindergarten through sixth grade can participate in the elementary art division, while the other categories are open to youth in third grade and up with divisions for adults as well.

“We tend to have about 60 or 70 food entries, about 100 photography entries, about 300 to 400 in the elementary art division and 10 or 20 entries in the other categories,” Patrick said.

Entry fees per item entered is due to the Houston County Extension Office by 4:30 p.m. March 17. Entry fee is $1 for the elementary art division per entry, $2 for the junior division (grades 3-8), $2 per entry in the senior division (grades 9-12) and $3 per entry in the adult division.

“We bring in judges from other counties who come and judge, many times it’s extension agents from other neighboring counties,” Patrick said. “We give blue, red and white ribbons based on a point scale.”

The blue-ribbon winners in each class are eligible for a best of show award.

The junior (youth) division best of show entries are sold during the Houston County Livestock Show’s Sale of Champions on Friday, April 7, while the adult division best of show winners will receive a plaque and ribbon for their winning entry.

In order to participate in the Houston County Home and Garden Show, participants must be a Houston County resident. The item entered must have been made within the last 12 months (such as artwork, crafts, quilts, etc.).

The complete Houston County Home and Garden Fair rule book is available online at houston.agrilife.org. A downloadable entry form also is available. For more information about the fair, call the Houston County Extension Office at 936-544-7502 or stop by the office at 716 Wells St. in Crockett.

Here is the list of classes for each category in the Home and Garden Fair:

ART

• Elementary Art (K-6)

• Junior & Senior Youth Art (Grades 7-12)

• Adult (non-professional)

CANNING

• Class 1 – Canned Fruit

• Class 2 – Canned Vegetables

• Class 3 – Jelly

• Class 4 – Preserves, Jams, Fruit Butters

• Class 5 – Relishes and Pickles

• Class 6 – Soups and Miscellaneous

CRAFTS

• Class 1 – Crocheted and kitted items including afghans

• Class 2 – Decorative Painting

• Class 3 – Holiday Accessories

• Class 4 – Needlework

• Class 5 – Miscellaneous & Novelties

• Class 6 – Wall Hangings

• Class 7 – Recycled, reused, repurposed

FOOD

• Class 1 – Yeast Bread/ Rolls

• Class 2 – Quick Breads

• Class 3 – Cookies

• Class 4 – Iced or Glazed Cakes

• Class 5 – Non-Iced Cakes

• Class 6 – Decorated Cakes

• Class 7 – Candy

• Class 8 – Brownies and Bars

• Class 9 – Miscellaneous

• Class 10 – Creative Baked Goods Using Mixes

HORTICULTURE

• Class 1 – African Violets (light-dark, double-single)

• Class 2 – Ferns

• Class 3 – Herbs

• Class 4 – Succulents & Cactus

• Class 5 – Ivies

• Class 6 – Miscellaneous

• Class 7 – Container

• Class 8 – Floral Design (A. Fresh; B. Silk; C. Dried; D. Combination of fresh and dried)

PHOTOGRAPHY

• Class 1 – Black and white, film or digital

• Class 2 – Color, film or digital

• Class 3 – Digitally enhanced

QUILTS (Adults only)

• Class 1 – Hand-quilted

• Class 2 – Machine-quilted

• Class 3 – Combination of hand- and machine-quilted techniques

• Class 4 – Quilted wall hangings

• Class 5 – Baby quilts

• Class 6 – Antique quilts (for display only)

WOODWORKING

• Class 1 – Outdoor furniture & accessories

• Class 2 – Indoor furniture & accessories

• Class 3 – Toys