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Tribute Beer Release Party

With our comrades at The Public Option, we are excited to announce the release of the DC State Fair tribute beer!

What does that mean?
For the DC State Fair Best Homebrew Contest, the winner of the Best in Show ribbon also receives the opportunity to have the grand folks at The Public Option brew a tribute beer in its honor. This is your best opportunity to try the prize-winning beer!

Our friends from Neat Meat DC will also be there serving up their (meat AND vegan) sloppy joes. You won’t want to miss this awesome event!

For more on the 2017 contest winners: https://dcstatefair.org/2017/10/22/contest-winners-from-the-2017-dc-state-fair/

For more on the 2018 contests: https://dcstatefair.org/contests/

Let’s Be Terrific!

On Terrific Tuedays at BKK Thai Cookshop, they donate 10% of dine-in dinner sales to non-profits.

On Tuesday, June 26, Terrific Tuesday will benefit the DC State Fair. The DC State Fair is a free showcase of the District’s agricultural and creative talents and a daylong celebration of all things homegrown. The ninth annual DC State Fair will be held on Sunday, September 23, 2018, at Waterfront Station in Southwest DC.

Please join us at BKK Thai Cookshop for dinner on June 26 for delicious Thai cuisine benefitting a fantastic cause! It’s a great opportunity to meet the board and volunteers that make the event happen — and find out how you can participate and/or volunteer!

BKK Cookshop
1700 New Jersey Ave NW
Washington, DC 20001

Ninth Annual DC State Fair to Return to Southwest, Contests Announced

Sunday, September 23, Southwest Washington, D.C., will again host the DC State Fair at the Waterfront Station. The public is invited to enjoy the ninth annual free event.  Included in the program are the contests that crown the city’s best growers, crafters, and cooks; performances from local musicians and dance troupes; and food, art, and craft vendors showcasing and selling their wares.

Planning is underway for the full schedule of events, and updates will be provided in the coming months. Many contest entries for 2018 are already open, including the popular “Best Bud”, Honey, Wine, and Fiber Arts categories. New contests this year include Best Salsa, Best Biscuit, and Best Cookie, with more to come. The DC State Fair Board of Directors urges those interested in participating to plan ahead.

“We are excited to celebrate all the District has to offer, from homebrew to double dutch,” says Ashley Chaifetz, Contest Coordinator and member of the DC State Fair Board of Directors. “I look forward to participation by school gardens, as they are now able to enter the fruit and vegetable categories as a single unit. I hope they will save some of their harvest to enter this September!”

This daylong celebration of all things homegrown is unique among local fairs and festivals: it is run entirely by volunteers, is free to attend, and is held in different neighborhoods from year to year, making the Fair accessible to all DC residents and visitors. For the second year, the DC State Fair, in partnership with the Southwest Business Improvement District,  will take place at the Southwest Waterfront Metro.

The DC State Fair is also committed to working with local businesses and organizations that help our community thrive. Want to participate in the DC State Fair? Enter a contest, volunteer, or just show up on the big day! Learn more at www.dcstatefair.org

Press interested in covering the DC State Fair should complete a press credential request form. Questions? Contact us!

Join the DC State Fair Board of Directors in 2018

Over the past eight years, the DC State Fair has blossomed from an enthusiastic participant in neighborhood fairs and festivals to a standalone event that attracts thousands of people. Our all-volunteer nonprofit organization seeks up to eight new individuals to join our Board of Directors and help us continue to build our annual showcase of the District’s agricultural and artistic talents.

Photo by Ron Sanchez/Blushing Whale Films.

You: A District of Columbia resident. Enthusiastic about Washington’s past, present, and future. Willing to speak to strangers, raise funds from local businesses and work with people of all kinds. Connected to food, agricultural and artistic communities. Weekend availability a must; daytime availability a plus. Enthusiastic, adaptable and willing to eat, sleep, and breathe the DC State Fair during our busiest time of year (May – October).

Us: People of all ages, all backgrounds, and neighborhoods across DC, who are committed to building community and letting the agricultural, culinary and artistic talents of District residents shine. Respectful of tradition but open to new ideas. Consensus-seeking and collaboration-loving, but comfortable leading people and projects in a self-supervised environment.

All applicants to the Board of Directors should be able and willing to commit to the work. Just what this position entails is described below.

Responsibilities

The following duties are the responsibilities of the leaders of DC State Fair and may be performed primarily by board members: Guide the efforts of various committees and subcommittees (including the Communications, Community Outreach, Contest, Fundraising and Development, Logistics, Vendors and Volunteer committees); liaise with local businesses and organizations that complement and/or support the mission of the DC State Fair; ensure stable financial and legal standing; offer programming and events throughout the year, in addition to the annual DC State Fair and potentially in collaboration with local businesses and organizations.

We tend to assign collaborative work according to board members’ skills and interests, but everyone is expected to pitch in when things need to get done. Sometimes, that means we reach beyond our comfort zone to handle new and unfamiliar duties. Tasks and responsibilities are varied. You might:

  • Write content for our social media accounts, website, and newsletter
  • Solicit sponsorships from local businesses
  • Recruit and coordinate volunteers
  • Recruit and coordinate vendors
  • Organize contests and line up volunteer judges
  • Create signage and site maps
  • Manage event logistics (e.g., stage, sound and tent set-up; trash collection; and permits)
  • Table at local events to build DC State Fair visibility
  • Work with community groups and nonprofit organizations to get DC residents engaged and excited about the Fair
  • Weigh in on and implement board decisions

Sound like fun? If so, you could be the person we’re looking for!

Time Commitment

New board members will begin to attend regular, bi-monthly (twice each month) meetings in March, at which point members will take on intermittent committee assignments and/or responsibilities appropriate for their chosen role. As the date of the Fair approaches, our work intensifies, and board members will be asked to make their greatest time commitments from midsummer until the time of the Fair. Time commitments can range from four to eight hours per week during the planning stages to 12+ hours per week as the annual event approaches, depending on a board member’s role and availability. These are strictly volunteer opportunities.

Term of Office

Board members serve two-year terms.

About DC State Fair

The DC State Fair is a free showcase of the city’s agricultural and artistic talents. The main event features a full day of competitions, education, and entertainment, with local vendors on hand selling food, drinks, art, and crafts. The first DC State Fair was held on August 28, 2010. The DC State Fair is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization run entirely by volunteers.

To apply, please email a resume and letter of intent to board@thedcstatefair.org by midnight on March 3, 2018. 

Applicants will be notified of their acceptance by Wednesday, March 7. While our regular, bi-monthly meetings will take place on weeknights (on a recurring date to be decided by the Board), new board members are invited and expected to attend a kick-off meeting on Sunday, March 11 (location TBD).

Contest Winners from the 2017 DC State Fair

Our contests for kids and adults highlight the agricultural, artistic, and even athletic talents of the District of Columbia. Contest winners from the 2017 DC State Fair are listed below. 

Kids’ Contests

Cupcake (New!) 

  • First Place: Madelynn Martin (Berry Strawberry)

Baked Goods

Bread (New!)

  • First Place: Jenn Nichols (Badass Brioche)
  • Second Place: John Canon (County Boule)
  • Third Place: Annie Albright (Annie’s Homegrown Sourdough with Rosemary, Sage and Walnut)

Pie: Best Apple

  • First Place: Abby Lynch (Apple Rosette)
  • Second Place: Daria Wingreen-Mason (Classic Apple)
  • Third Place: Katie Catalano (Early Fall Apple Ginger)

Pie: Best Fruit (Non-Apple)

  • First Place: Emily-Anne Patt (Miss Meredith’s Scottish Pecan)
  • Second Place: Carter Purcell (Moroccan Pear)
  • Third Place: Layla Attia (Cherry)

Pie: Best Savory

  • First Place: Abby Lynch (Chicken and Caramelized Onion)
  • Second Place: Katie Catalano (Late Summer Chicken Pot Pie)
  • Third Place: Clarissa Kimmey (Tomato)

Pie: Best Crust

  • First Place: Katie Catalano (Late Summer Chicken Pot Pie)
  • Second Place: Mollie Coyle (Bourbon Pecan)
  • Third Place: Daria Wingreen-Mason (Classic Apple)

Pie: Best in Show

  • First Place: Abby Lynch (Chicken and Caramelized Onion)
  • Second Place: Mollie Coyle (Bourbon Pecan)
  • Third Place: Emily-Anne Patt (Miss Meredith’s Scottish Pecan)

Craft

Fiber Art (New!) 

  • First Place: Elizabeth Hunziker (Crochet Clutch)
  • Second Place: Kilani Paulik (Daft Blue Floral)
  • Third Place: Emily Wahl (Oscar Cardigan)
  • Best Fiber Art with Homegrown Product: Tracy Lini (George Washington)

Growing and Gardening 

Compost

  • First Place: Jeffrey Neal
  • Second Place: Wayne Savage
  • Third Place (tie): Catherine Plume
  • Third Place (tie): Karen Baldi

Vegetable

  • Heaviest Vegetable (First Place): Joe Bozik (Pumpkin)
  • Heaviest Vegetable (Second Place): Mason Calhoun (Cucumber)
  • Longest Vegetable: Mason Calhoun (Cucumber)
  • Funkiest Looking Vegetable: Candace Archer (Weird Tater)

Tomato

  • Best Red: Nicole Buell
  • Best Non-Red: Rhea Kennedy
  • Best Heirloom: Marguerite Pridgen

Foods

Chili 

  • First Place: Christopher Graham (Wooden Spoon)
  • Second Place: Jason Sanders (Sanders’ Ranch Chili)
  • Third Place: Erica Benjamin (Chili for Valentine)

Honey

  • First Place: Pavel Snejevski
  • Second Place: Caroline Hutton
  • Third Place: David Bani

Homebrew

  • First Place: Shane Duggan (Hop and Frisk)
  • Second Place (tie): Jake Grover (Alligator Florida Weisse)
  • Second Place (tie): Chris Samoray and Adam Porter (End of Summer Stout)
  • Third Place: Michael Brandon (Flanders Red)

Ice Cream 

  • First Place: Laura Karr (Saffron Cardamom)
  • Second Place: Natalie Copra (Brown Butter Pecan)
  • Third Place: Amelia Vogel (Wild Blackberry Cheesecake)

Jams and Jellies

  • First Place: Annika Pettitt (Plum Space Jam)
  • Second Place: Anna Bryant (Spicy Habanero Jam)
  • Third Place: Kirsten Wiard-Bauer (Blueberry Jam)

Mumbo Sauce (Back by popular demand!) 

  • First Place: Elizabeth Sweeting (DC Native Original Spicy)
  • Second Place: Elizabeth Sweeting (DC Native Backyard)
  • Third Place: Mary Knight (All Purpose Original)

Pickled Foods

  • First Place (tie): Mark Perry (Doug’s Dill Pickles)
  • First Place (tie): Benjamin Roode (Grandma’s Beet Pickles)
  • Second Place: Amelia Vogel (Spicy Dilly Yardlong Beans)

Wine (New!)

  • First Place: Scott Robertson (Old Vine Zinfandel)
  • Second Place: David Schneider (Zin-fidelity)
  • Third Place: Mark Perry (Dandelion Wine)

Eighth Annual DC State Fair Comes to Southwest on September 24

Sunday, September 24, in Southwest Washington, DC, will see the arrival of the eighth annual DC State Fair from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. At Waterfront Station, the public is invited to enjoy contests that crown the city’s best growers, crafters, and cooks; performances from local musicians and dance troupes; and more than 55 food, art, and craft vendors showcasing and selling their wares.

The Live Hula Hoop Contest will return to the DC State Fair in 2017. Image by Elliot Williams/Capital Photography Center.

This daylong celebration of all things homegrown is unique among local fairs and festivals: it is run entirely by volunteers, is free to attend, and is held in different neighborhoods from year to year, making the Fair accessible to all DC residents and visitors. This year, the DC State Fair has partnered with the Southwest Business Improvement District to bring the event to Waterfront Station.

“We are thrilled to be part of the DC State Fair this year,” said Steve Moore, Executive Director of the Southwest BID. “This event has become a DC ‘Signature Event.’ It’s unique, fun, and perfect for Southwest.”

While the DC State Fair is inspired by time-honored state fair traditions—like growing and gardening, animal husbandry, and deep-fried foods—it also honors the things that make DC unique. This means the DC State Fair puts on a Pet Parade instead of a pig race and holds competitions to find the best pupusas, mumbo sauce, and Double Dutch jumpers in the city.

“The DC State Fair is not like any other fair,” said Ashley Chaifetz, Contest Coordinator and member of the DC State Fair Board of Directors. “DC is a diverse place and our fair is reflective of our communities. Sure, we’ve got Best Strawberry Jam and Best Apple Pie, but we’ve also got our ever-popular, long-standing Best Compost, Best Bud, and Best Homebrew contests. New to the contest roster for 2017 are Best Kids’ Cupcake, Best Pupusa, Watermelon Seed-Spitting, and Double Dutch. There is something for everyone–from Fido to Felicia–which is why folks continue to show up.”

A man eating a sloppy joe sandwich.
The Live Sloppy Joe Eating Contest will return to the DC State Fair in 2017. Image by Mariel Smith/Capital Photography Center.

The DC State Fair is also committed to working with local businesses and organizations that help our community thrive. This year, for instance, the DC State Fair has partnered with NeatMeat DC to supply the sandwiches in its Sloppy Joe Eating Contest and with The Public Option to craft a tribute to the winner of its Homebrew Contest. The DC State Fair has also partnered with Knowledge Commons DC to bring demonstrations and workshops to its Education Stage.

“DC is home to so many passionate, quirky people with backgrounds in fields like public policy, environmental science, and the arts,” said Ari Hock, Knowledge Commons DC communications lead. “We’ve found thousands of local teachers and students who want to share their ideas, and now we’re partnering with the DC State Fair to amplify their voices.”

For the third year, friendly pets on leashes, in cages, or in aquariums are invited to march in our Pet Parade. Pets and their owners are also encouraged to enter our pet-themed contests. Image by Barbara Gilbert/Capital Photography Center.

The DC State Fair will also host a live collaboration between Bailiwick Clothing Company and Soul & Ink: A Live Screen Printing Experience, who will pair popular Bailiwick designs (including The 51st State series) with DC-inspired Soul & Ink visuals to create unique “tee-mixes” for their customers.

“We’re big fans of Soul & Ink, and we love the way they make their craft so interactive,” said J.C. Smith, co-owner of Bailiwick.

Sherry Meneses of Soul & Ink explains, “Bailiwick’s classic typography-based designs, Soul & Ink’s streetwear-style graphics, and our mutual love for DC made this collaboration a natural fit.”

“And the DC State Fair is the perfect place for it to happen,” Smith added. “The Fair is all about DC pride. It’s family friendly, and it’s very interactive. We’re excited to do this. Folks are in for a treat!”

Want to participate in the DC State Fair? Enter a contest, volunteer, or just show up on the big day! Learn more at www.dcstatefair.org.

Winning Homebrew Release Party

Join the DC State Fair for the public release of two prize-winning District of Columbia homebrews!

DC State Fair Winning Homebrew Release Party V2.png

Our friends at The Public Option (1601 Rhode Island Ave. NE) have brewed tributes to two first-place winners from our 2016 Homebrew Contest, to be sold for a limited time at their brew pub. Visit The Public Option on Friday, August 25, between 6:30 and 9 p.m. to sip on a Deep Chocolate stout, savor a pre-Prohibition style 1913 Bottle Ale, or snack on a gourmet sloppy joe sandwich made and sold by NeatMeatDC. A portion of beer sales will support the 2017 DC State Fair, to be held Sunday, September 24, at Waterfront Station in Southwest DC.

Eventbrite - DC State Fair Winning Homebrew Release Party

Join the DC State Fair Board of Directors

You: A District of Columbia resident. Enthusiastic about Washington’s past, present, and future. Willing to speak to strangers and work with people of all kinds. Warm sense of humor, power to roll with the punches, and not afraid to invite all of your friends to like our page on Facebook. Willing to eat, sleep, and breathe all things DC State Fair during our busiest time of year.

Us: People of all ages, all backgrounds, and from neighborhoods across DC, who are committed to building community and letting the agricultural, culinary, and artistic talents of District residents shine. Respectful of tradition but open to new ideas. Consensus-seeking and collaboration-loving, but comfortable leading people and projects in a self-supervised environment.

Want to join us? We are seeking up to eight new board members! Applicants should be able and willing to commit to the work. Just what this position entails is described below.

kat-pancratz-petmc
Board member Lisa Scott emcees the Pet Parade. Image via Kat Pancratz/Capital Photography Center.

Responsibilities

The following duties are the responsibilities of the leaders of DC State Fair and may be performed primarily by board members: Guide the efforts of various committees and subcommittees (including the Communications, Community Outreach, Contest, Fundraising and Development, Logistics, Vendors and Volunteer committees); liaise with local businesses and organizations that complement and/or support the DC State Fair mission; ensure stable financial and legal standing (primarily performed by the Board’s CFO); offer programming and events throughout the year, in addition to the annual DC State Fair and potentially in collaboration with local businesses and organizations that complement and/or support the DC State Fair mission.

We tend to assign collaborative work according to board members’ skills and interests, but everyone is expected to pitch in when things need to get done. Sometimes, that means we reach beyond our comfort zone to handle new and unfamiliar duties. Tasks and responsibilities are varied. You might:

  • Write content for our social media accounts, website, and newsletter
  • Solicit sponsorships from local businesses
  • Recruit and coordinate volunteers
  • Recruit and coordinate vendors
  • Organize contests and line up volunteer judges
  • Create signage and site maps
  • Manage event logistics (e.g., stage, sound and tent set-up; trash collection; and permits)
  • Table at local events to build DC State Fair visibility
  • Work with community groups and nonprofit organizations to get DC residents engaged and excited about the Fair
  • Weigh in on and implement board decisions

Sound like fun? If so, you could be the person we’re looking for!

Board Member and Dog
Board member Pete Hammerle, Meghan Groob and Gus. Image via Barbara Gilbert/Capital Photography Center.

Time Commitment

New board members will begin to attend regular meetings in February, at which point members will take on intermittent committee assignments and/or responsibilities appropriate for their chosen role. From late spring through summer up until the annual DC State Fair takes place (usually in August/September), our work intensifies. Board members will be asked to make their greatest time commitments during this period. Time commitments can range from four to eight hours per week during the planning stages to 12+ hours per week as the annual event approaches, depending on a board member’s role and availability. These are strictly volunteer opportunities.

Term of Office

Board members serve two-year terms, with overlapping terms.

Hula Hoop Contest
Board member Kish Rusek emcees the Hula Hoop contest. Image via Julie Miller/Capital Photography Center.

About DC State Fair

The DC State Fair is a free showcase of the city’s agricultural and artistic talents. The main event features a full day of competitions, education, and entertainment, with local vendors on hand selling food, drinks, art, and crafts. The first DC State Fair was held on August 28, 2010. The DC State Fair is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization run entirely by volunteers.

To apply, please email a resume, a letter of intent and (if you prefer), one to two supporting documents (e.g., a letter of recommendation, documentation of community involvement, a poetic ode to the Fair) to thedcstatefair@gmail.com by midnight on February 1, 2017.

Seventh Annual DC State Fair To Be Held This Sunday

The seventh annual DC State Fair will be held this Sunday, August 28, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. at NoMa Junction at Storey Park (1005 First Street NE). This free celebration of the District’s farmers, bakers, brewers and makers will see the return of more than a dozen classic contests, as well as new features: Bingo, live competitions and more performances from local artists than ever before.

“Growing in the city, growing the city and growing ourselves; as we become smarter citizens we cultivate a healthy urban economy,” said Robin-Eve Jasper, President of the NoMa BID and the NoMa Parks Foundation. The NoMa BID is a Gold Sponsor of the 2016 DC State Fair. Jasper added, “It only makes sense that NoMa, the city’s smartest and fastest-growing neighborhood, would have the pleasure of hosting the 2016 DC State Fair, celebrating DC’s artisans, artists and food.”

Newsletter_2016Poster.jpg

Contests

Our contests for kids and adults highlight local talent and foster friendly competition among District residents. Several favorites have returned (including honey, homebrew, pickled foods, pie and the history-making Best Bud), and new contests have been added (including chili and mumbo sauce). For the first time, live competitions will encourage Fairgoers to get the recognition they deserve as the best hula hooper, sloppy Joe eater or dancer in town.

“What makes the DC State Fair special are the added bits of flair that are unique to our community,” said Sara Conklin, Contest Coordinator and member of the DC State Fair Board of Directors. “Not many fairs have a Mumbo Sauce Contest, a Best Tattoo Contest or performing step groups and ska bands. But we do! We recognize that aspects of traditional state fairs are popular and important, but we have combined these elements with DC-esque fun. There isn’t another Fair in the United States quite like ours, and that’s why people keep coming back year after year.”

Pet Parade

For the second year, friendly pets on leashes, in cages, in tanks or in aquariums are invited to march in our Pet Parade! Pets and their owners are encouraged to don costumes, enter our pet-themed contests and stick around after the parade to enjoy the rest of the Fair.

Don’t have a pet? Have room in your home and heart for one more? Wagtime and the Washington Humane Society-Washington Animal Rescue League will be on-site with lovable critters available for adoption.

Education, Entertainment and More 

Our event will be packed with activities and entertainment for everyone. From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., our Kid’s Corner will feature free activities for kids. From 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., ourEducation Stage will feature talks on fall gardening, growing cannabis at home and more. And during the entire Fair, our Main Stage will feature live competitions and performances from local artists.

Talks and interactive demonstrations will be offered by Love & Carrots, ECO City Farms, Let’sGrowDC, DC By Foot, Tango Mercurio, DC Rawhides and the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay. Performers will include DJ Fusion, Dance Place Step Team, Batala Washington, Crush Funk Brass Band and The Captivators.

Vendors and Exhibitors 

More than 35 food, drink, art and craft vendors will showcase and sell their wares at the Fair. Local businesses will offer apparel and accessories for people and pets, prints, posters, glassware, plants, gardening supplies and more. Close to 20 government agencies and nonprofit organizations will also exhibit at the Fair.

About

The DC State Fair is a free showcase of the city’s agricultural and artistic talents. The main event features a full day of competitions, education and entertainment, with local vendors on hand selling food, drinks, art and crafts. The first DC State Fair was held on August 28, 2010. The DC State Fair is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization run entirely by volunteers.

Questions? Contact us!