Saturday, August 28, 2010

County Fair Tablescapes

As in my previous post - I am sharing pictures from our county fair. Our Food and Nutrition Project members are judged about three weeks prior to the fair. The reasons for judging the projects prior to the fair are that, first, our state fair has begun and ended before our county fair. Selecting the project winners at the prejudging enables them to compete in the project at the state fair. Having our food project judging in an air conditioned church hall allows the food to be served in a safe and sanitary manner. Food safety is a big part of the food project curriculum and members transport their food in food safe containers like a thermos or cooler; and even take the temperature of the food to show the judges that their food is safe to consume.

A second part of our judging day is our tablesetting competition. Members have always had to present their food serving on a placesetting appropriate for the meal that the food is part of. The correct way to set a table is another important learning experience. A few years ago, the top tablesetting awards were created in honor of one of our superintendents who is looking down on us from the heavens. (Hi Dianne!)
To showcase the members at the fair, my FCS committee creates a booth displaying photographs of all the members posing with their food and placesetting on judging day.  The top four placesettings are invited to recreate them at the fair.
Our first tablesetting features a patriotic theme. The chef/designers include a copy of their menu including the food they had prepared for judging. The baskets in the background are booth decorations and are not part of the placesetting.

This adorable placesetting features a butterfly theme.
 Don't you love the ruffled look of the placemat?
I am guessing that since this inspirational beach themed placesetting has no silverware, our 4-H member is  ready for the snack portion of the menu. I believe that the food prepared from the book would be from one of our beginner projects, Snack Attack.
The night that our 4-H food and nutrition placings are announced, a silver tray is also awarded for Most Creative Tablesetting! This red, white and blue themed placesetting was our winner. Unfortunately my photography skills do not due justice to the lovely setting. At judging, her centerpiece was a handmade bouquet of red, white and blue cut fruit. This was not brought to the fair to sit in a very hot building for seven days. As the person who sat in that building for seven hot days, I was very grateful!

This was our first year for a new cake decorating contest. I  thought I would share the entries, made on styrofoam bases by members aged 11-15.
Great cakes for our first year!

I will be linking with Tablescape Thursday with the fabulous Susan at Between Naps on the Porch. Even though I have not shared a tablescape for quite a while - I have been peeking at all of yours! What great and creative tablescapers you are. Unfortunately I can't leave comments from my computer at work. My September schedule includes my son's wedding. Hopefully after we get through the wedding, I can get back to the blog world! Thanks for visiting.

How I spent My Summer Vacation by Miss Merry

Where have I been? Well, as much as I enjoy blogging, my summer is very busy with preparations for our county fair. This has been my sixteenth summer as a 4-H club advisor. This year I started with 31 members and our projects ranged from quilting to cooking and sewing to photography, woodworking, and even rockets. Members cared for rabbits, lambs, hogs, chickens and feeder calves. I am also a superintendant for our Junior Fair FCS building (formerly known as Home Ec to those of us who remember the olden days). Our County FCS agent retired in January and, due to budget cuts, was not replaced. The 4-H program assistant was going to try to fill those shoes, but was unfortunately stricken with a very serious illness in the weeks leading to the fair. (hugs and prayers!) Her daughter and I were left as the "third-stringers" to try to pull it all together. Although it was mindboggling and seemed to be 25 hour long days, looking back at my pictures, I think the fair got along just fine with the backup team. We had lots of help from our junior fair board members, aged 14-18; they were always right behind me ready to lend a helping hand and their support. I hope you enjoy some pictures of the 2010 Huron County Fair.
Before the fair began, my 4-H club members designed and painted a quilt block on a twelve inch floor tile. Here are our tiles spread on my lawn to be varnish before the fair. The tiles will be placed on the floor of our club booth which will showcase 4-H sewing projects. Below you can see the tiles on the floor of the booth.
I want to start singing " My Girls, My Girls, talkin' bout My Girls, My Girls". These are some of my 4-H FCS Board Members, who were my faithful assistants and hardest workers. They are great examples to our younger 4-H members and I am so proud of each and every one of them!
The ladies are wrapping our "stage" in paper and decorations in anticipation of the fashion show on Monday evening.

The final top layer must be stapled in place by a barefooted member to keep it
clean and white for the evening festivities. 
You can just peek behind them to see the rabbit judging contest. 
Turned out pretty nice, don't you think?
The paper taped in the middle asks the fairgoers to "Please Do Not Touch"
It is just too inviting to sit down on our pretty stage and dribble your onion blossom, or walking taco, or Italian sausage or fried . . .anything!
Also too tempting to tiny feet who want to practice their talents!
Here are our 4-H Clothing Project winners at the end of the evening!
This includes "Total Look Outfits" that the 4-H members sewed as construction projects or selected as consumer projects. Our best of show in Clothing Construction is the young lady who created the 1770's outfit, complete with undergarments for her Creative Costume project. Our best of show in Selection Projects is the young lady fourth from the left, middle row, in a peach top who selected her total look to coordinate with the necklace that a relative brought to her from Italy.
Here is our stage "re-designed" for our Fair King and Queen Contest
on Tuesday night.
And here are our lovely contestants. The King and Queen are chosen by three criteria. First, they submit an application containing their 4-H and other fair accomplishments, their resume of leadership and public service activities and a short essay on why they should be Fair King or Queen. Next is a pre-fair interview with the judges. Finally we have the contest on Tuesday night which involves a prepared question and answer as well as the famous fish bowl question. I will not tell you who were chosen as royalty because they are all winners in my book! It takes a lot of courage to compete in front of your peers and the entire community and they all did an outstanding job!  My own daughters were past Fair Queens. We like to tease that they were not "Great Queens", just "Fair" Queens.
(They really are pretty great, though!)
I am exploring some new blogs this week and am linking to Spotlight Saturday at  and with Weekend Bloggy Reading 
Please visit to discover some new friends, too!

Miss Merry