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State Fair of Texas Announces Annual Creative Arts Competitions

Big Tex at the State Fair of Texas 2012 (photo by Mr. Holga)

Big Tex at the State Fair of Texas 2012 (photo by Mr. Holga)

Do you like to create edible pieces of art? Are you a whiz with a sewing needle? Are you waiting for the right moment to unveil that amazing secret family recipe? Do you know a child or teen who loves to paint or draw?  Are you a fan of participating in cosplay?  If so, consider participating in one of the numerous State Fair of Texas Creative Arts competitions.

The State Fair of Texas is excited to offer more than 1,100 categories in 12 different departments to be entered and judged before the Fair even begins. These competitions provide an opportunity for amateurs and professionals of all ages to showcase their creative skills.  Available categories include: art, ceramics, designer-craftsman, dolls, foods (canning), hobby collections, holiday corner, needlepoint, needlework, afghans, quilts, rugs and bedspreads, photography and scale modeling. Registration for the 2014 pre-Fair contests is under way. The final date to submit entry forms and fees is Friday, July 25 by 5:00 pm. Take-in for the actual items may be mailed in no later than July 25,or you may hand deliver the items to the Creative Arts building August 15, 16 or 17, from 9am to 5pm. Only one entry per person may be submitted within each category.  In the following weeks, entries will be judged and contestants will receive notification once the results are finalized.  Entries that are awarded a ribbon will be on display during the 2014 State Fair of Texas, themed “Deep in the Heart of Texans.” 

The Sunday prior to opening day, September 21, the State Fair of Texas will hold its annual Chili Cook-Off, BBQ Cook-Off, and debuting this year, the Three-Pot Dutch Oven Cook-Off, which will consist of a main dish, a dessert and a bread that must all be cooked in Dutch ovens, using only charcoal.  The Grand Champion winner of this new cook-off will be eligible to compete in the 2015 International Dutch Oven Society’s World Championship Cook-Off.  Pre-registration is requested, however entries will be accepted the day of the contest.

During the Fair, 24 daily contests will judge the skill and creativity of Texans who think they have what it takes to bring the blue ribbon home. From the “Glue-a-Shoe” contest, in which entrants decorate an old boot, heel, sandal, slip on or running shoe with ornate objects, to the “Great American Spam® Championship” contest, where chefs cook an amazing appetizer with at least one 12-ounce can of Spam products, each day brings an exciting competition fairgoers will surely enjoy. Last year’s winner went on to claim national award honors and an all-expense paid trip for two to SPAM JAM® Waikiki in Honolulu, Hawaii.  Cash prizes are awarded in certain competitions.  No need to pre-register for this group of contests.  Bring a completed entry form with you on the day of the contest.

Due to popularity and limited space, the State Fair of Texas will hold a drawing on Friday, June 27 to choose the contestants for five additional on-site cooking contests during the Fair – the Ice Cream Freeze-Off, Pizza Cook-Off, the “Guess What’s Cooking” Contest sponsored by Central Market, the Red River Showdown Biscuit Cook-Off, and the Cobbler Cook-Off.  For a chance to be a contestant, the final date to submit a Contest Entry Form is Monday June 16.

For all contest details, download the 2014 “Deep in the Heart of Texans” Creative Arts Competition Handbook at  New contests have been added, some previous ones have been combined or removed, in addition to other updates.  The 2014 State Fair of Texas runs September 26 through October 19.  Register now to showcase your creative skills!

About the State Fair of Texas

Since its inception in 1886, the State Fair of Texas has celebrated all things Texan by promoting agriculture, education, and community involvement through quality entertainment in a family-friendly environment.  The State Fair of Texas is a non-profit organization with all proceeds helping to preserve and improve Fair Park and underwrite museum, community and scholarship programs for inner city youth and students pursuing agricultural careers.  The 2014 exposition runs September 26 through October 19 in Fair Park.  Visit for more information.

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