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/

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!

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)

History-Making Best Bud Contest Returns to DC State Fair

The DC State Fair will once again honor the legalization of marijuana in the nation’s capital by inviting District of Columbia residents to enter their prized buds in the Fair’s second annual “Best Bud” cannabis contest.

Last year, the DC State Fair made history with its Best Bud contest, marking the first time a state fair had ever judged cannabis. National press and late-night talk show hosts took notice, and the Fair started a trend: this year, the Oregon State Fair will also host a cannabis competition! But the DC State Fair did it first, and is still doing it best.

bestbudcontest
A judge examines entries during the first round of the 2015 DC State Fair Best Bud contest. Photo by Joe Morcos.

Judging

Preliminary judging of the Best Bud contest will take place one week before the DC State Fair at a free event that will be open to contestants. Five finalists will be judged on five growing criteria (including sight, smell, touch, cure and trim) on the main stage of the Fair on August 28. Points will be deducted for evidence of pests.

Contest entries are limited to 100. Only District of Columbia residents aged 21 or older are permitted to enter and compete in the Best Bud contest. Cannabis industry professionals are excluded from the competition. Registration ends on August 18.

Judges will not consume cannabis. In accordance with current District of Columbia law, which prevents cannabis consumption at events to which the public is invited, cannabis consumption at the Fair is prohibited.

“We have seen a huge amount of new and experienced growers supporting cannabis gardening since the passage of Prop 71 in 2015,” said Chris Washburn, owner and founder of Let’sGrowDC, a District-based indoor urban gardening center. “Friendly local competition like we have here will surely push the quality and prevalence of high-grade cannabis throughout the District. Let’sGrowDC! is very excited to once again be a sponsor of the annual DC State Fair Best Bud contest.”

“The response to last year’s Best Bud contest was enormous, and fairgoers made it clear to us that they want the Best Bud contest to be a regular part of the DC State Fair,” said Jenn Nichols, president of the DC State Fair’s board of directors. “Local advocates have worked toward marijuana legalization for a long time, and now work continues to educate residents about their rights under the new legalization laws. Teaching District residents about sustainable, urban agriculture–in all its forms–is a big part of the DC State Fair’s mission, and recreational cannabis growers must master the same kinds of skills as urban farmers growing tomatoes and squash.”

Questions about the Best Bud Contest? Read the registration form or contact Jenn Nichols at jenn@thedcstatefair.org.

 

DC State Fair and Local Brewpub to Co-Host Homebrew Contest

The DC State Fair is proud to announce that our Homebrew Contest has returned with a new grand prize: Blue Ribbon recipes in each of five flavor categories will be brewed and served on tap at local brewpub The Public Option.

The Homebrew Contest has long been integral to our line-up, but this is the first time we have partnered with a brewpub to bring homebrewed batches of beer to life for the wider District of Columbia community.

DC State Fair Contests- Best Homebrew
Photo: fadetowhite/Flickr

Contest entries will be judged by local brewers and beer experts in five flavor profile categories, including: Hop; Malt; Roast, Smoke and Wood; Yeast; and Fruit and Spice.

First, second and third place winners will be chosen from each category. Best in Show will be selected from the pool of Blue Ribbon (first place) winners. Special recognition will also be given to beers brewed with homegrown ingredients.

A preliminary round of judging will take place on Wednesday, August 24, 2016, at 6 p.m. at The Public Option (1601 Rhode Island Ave. NE), and is open to the public. Final judging will take place at the Fair on August 28. A judging schedule will be posted on our website.

“I’m thrilled to be working with the DC State Fair,” said Bill Perry, founder of The Public Option. “I’m a product of the local home-brewing community myself, and am looking forward to bringing the winners’ beers to District residents.”

“The Fair’s mission is to help build connections among District residents by promoting their shared interests in local, do-it-yourself hobbies and activities,” said Jenn Nichols, President of the DC State Fair Board of Directors. “This year’s Homebrew Contest is a great example of how homegrown businesses can nurture DC residents’ creativity and foster community across the District.”

Questions about the Homebrew Contest? Read the registration form or contact Jenn Nichols at jenn@thedcstatefair.org.