Registration is open for State Fair competitions

Published 10:25 am Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Virginia Farm Bureau

To win blue ribbon bragging rights, you need to enter one of the State Fair of Virginia’s many competitions.

Registration is now open for the fair’s general competitions. Everything from baked goods and SPAM recipes to giant pumpkins and hot sauce will be judged prior to and throughout the fair, which will run fromSept. 29 through Oct. 8.

If you enjoy making sweet treats, the baked goods competition includes categories for breads, cakes, pies, candy and cookies.

New this year is a competition using SPAM products. It’s the Great American SPAM Championship and is a way to celebrate 80 years of the iconic canned meat. There are categories for adults and children, and each entry must feature SPAM products in an original recipe. The first-place cash prize is $150 for adults and $60 for children. There also are national-level grand prizes.

The State Fair is celebrating its Southern roots with the House-Autry Shrimp and Grits Recipe Contest. House-Autry is seeking the greatest shrimp and grits recipe using yellow or white House-Autry Stone Ground Grits. The first-place prize is a $100 Food Lion gift card, a House-Autry chef’s apron and mention of the recipe on House-Autry’s website and social media pages.

Many people love eggs and Hispanic cuisine, and the Virginia Egg Council is giving contestants a chance to mix the two. Its competition is titled “Eggs Ole’,” and all entries must feature an Hispanic-inspired egg recipe. The top prize is $400.

Bring on the heat with the new “Spice It Up” division in the open preserved foods department. This includes classes for pepper sauce, spicy fruit salsa, hot salsa, hot sauce and spicy barbecue sauce.

In the horticulture competition, there are the ever-popular giant pumpkin and giant watermelon categories. The current giant pumpkin record is 1,232 pounds, which was set in 2015 by Hank Houston of Spotsylvania County. Davis Wells of Hanover County smashed the giant watermelon record last year with his 245.7-pound fruit.

For more information or to register or download an entry form, visit