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.”



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.


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!

Final day to apply for the Board!

The deadline to apply for the DC State Fair Board of Directors is TODAY! Submit your application by midnight to join our creative, fun, and hardworking volunteer team. It’s a great opportunity to hone those leadership skills and get to know your community.

Find everything you need to know about the position and the DC State Fair itself, and feel free to email with questions.

To apply, please e-mail your resume, a letter of intent, and, if you’d like, one or two supporting documents (e.g. a recommendation letter, documentation of your community involvement, a poetic ode to the Fair) to info[at]

Apply for the DC State Fair board. Deadline 1/15!

DC State Fair flag logoThe deadline to apply for the DC State Fair Board of Directors is coming up! Submit your application now to join our creative, fun, and hardworking volunteer team.

Find everything you need to know about the position and the DC State Fair itself, and feel free to email with questions.

To apply, please e-mail your resume, a letter of intent, and, if you’d like, one or two supporting documents (e.g. a recommendation letter, documentation of your community involvement, a poetic ode to the Fair) to info[at] The deadline to apply is January 15, 2014.

There are still seeds for your library at the library.

Thank you to D.C. Public Library Librarian David Quick for this guest post.

Mia Hayes-Hawkins demonstrates seed-saving techniques. Photos by Danita Delaney.
Above and below, right: Mia Hayes-Hawkins demonstrates seed-saving techniques. Photos by Danita Delaney.

Here at the Southeast Library, we had great fun hosting Fair-related programs. Leading up to the fair, we helped competitors write poetry and plan their bike accessories. And on the day of the fair, there were seed savers and solar cookers gathered in our garden learning new skills. In fact, we still have a bunch of seeds leftover from the swap that followed demonstration.

Sweet Plant Nation Seed Saving TalkSo if you’re still planning out next year’s garden, stop by the library or email me. We have a beautiful mix of seeds here that you can peruse while browsing the latest novels.

What goes into a blue ribbon pie?

Ever wondered what goes into those mouth-watering pies that bear the DC State Fair blue ribbon? The website of the Makes-me-wanna SHOUT! Pie Baking Challenge recently revealed just that. Profiling both the person and the recipe, the post on Sharon Winget’s Chalfant Apple Cranberry Pie is not to be missed.

Read Sharon Winget’s Chalfant Apple Cranberry Pie Wins Blue Ribbons at the 2013 DC State Fair Pie Contest.

The winners!

Everyone wins at the DC State Fair. Anyone who entered a pie competition for the first time or snapped a sweet picture at our photo booth knows that! But of course we also have contest winners. So without further ado, here they are.

If in the rush of the Fair we missed or miscategorized anything, please let us know.


1.   Early Morning Fishing, ekelly80

2.   Hear, Capitol Quarter Photos

3.   Concentration, ekelly80


1.   Sean Gugger: Nelson RyePA

2.   Nathan Rice: Peach Sour

Best Malt: Brian Haroldson: Hookie Dark Cream Ale

Best Fruit & Spice: Paul Stepnowsky: Baby Blues

Best Roast/Smoke/Wood: Rob Pitingolo: Pennsylvania Ave Porter


Best of Show: Izzy Hill

Extracted Honey: Izzy Hill

Best Tasting Honey: Franciscan Monastery Garden Guild

Kids’ Poetry:

Darren Hazzard, “Good Food, the More You Eat the Better You Feel”

Craft Contests

Newborn Hats:

1.   Karla Koudelka, Cupcake

2.   Karla Koudelka, Pumpkin

3.   Kenneth Moore, Pumpkin


First Place Knit: Whitney Meagher, DC Themed Gloves

First Place Crochet: Karla Koudelka, Cat Sweater

Bicycle Accessory:

1st place and Best Design & Function: Crispen Wilson, Quick Attach and remove child seat for Capitol BikeShare

2nd place and Best Adaptation: Jamal Kadri, 1934 rear steer tandem retrofit

3rd place and Most Creative: Nthabi Rand, Doll carrier

Kids’ Art:

1.    Nthabi Rand

Baked Goods Contests


Best in Show: Sharon Winget, Chalfont Apple Cranberry Pie

Best Apple:  Chalfant Mother’s Apple Cranberry Pie by Sharon E. Winget

Best Pie Crust:  Salty Oat Apple Pie by Christine Perez

Savory Show: Mushroom Lambkin Pie by Ellen McBarnette


1st Place: Tatiana Cook, Red Pepper Cupcake with Goat Cheese Frosting and Red Pepper Jam

Best Cake: Joy Dingle, Chocolate-Almond Cupcake with Almond Meringue Icing

Best Presentation: Kimberley Trainor, Coconut Ginger Cake, Lemon Curd Filling, and Meringue Frosting.

Prepared Foods Contests

Cucumber Pickle:

1. Mark Perry

2. Melanie Egorin

3. Chris Forney

Other Vegetable Pickle:

1. Margaret Mook, Green Martini Tomatoes

2. Kara Elder, Sweet Pickled Jalapenos with Coriander and Cumin

3. (tie) Kara Elder, Sweet Pickled Jalapenos with Ginger;  Mike Hankey, Cilantro Pickled Radishes

Fruit Pickle:

Chris Forney, Mom’s Watermelon Pickles

Jam & Jelly:

1.   Erin Behrmann, Smoky Peach Pepper Jam

2.   Erin Behrmann, Peach Basil Jam

3.   Sarah Cohen, Spicy Raspberry Lime Jam

Fermented Vegetable:

Rhea Kennedy, Locavore Kimchi

Vegetable Contests

Tastiest Tomato:

Malin Moeller, Cherry Tomato

Longest Vegetable:

Stephanie Dock, 46-inch squash

Heaviest Vegetable:

Jesse Fenty, 18-pound pumpkin

Heaviest Fruit:

Ellen McBarnette,  watermelon

Funkiest-Looking Vegetable:

Andrew Robie, Maize

2013 contest registration now open

Pies await judging in one of the DC State Fair’s most popular contests.

Ready? Set? Enter!

DC State Fair contest registration is now open. Whether you plan to enter our artistic, crafty or culinary contests, you can start the entry process on the 2013 Contests page. There, you can find links to entry forms with contest rules and deadlines.

Deadlines for canned and baked goods fall in mid-September, so be sure to register soon.

The drop-off and judging schedule will be published on the Event Details page in the coming weeks. Keep an eye out there and in the State of the Fair Newsletter for more information.

We look forward to seeing you and announcing the big winners at the Fair on Saturday, September 28.

Good luck, exhibitors!

Kickstarter goal reached!

Photo by Flickr user Mickebear
Photo by Flickr user Mickebear

It’s time to celebrate! Thanks to dedicated DC State Fair supporters — including readers like you — our Kickstarter fundraiser reached its goal on August 31. That night, fundraising chair Amelia Showalter sent the following message to contributors:

Wow! The DC State Fair Kickstarter is done. Thanks to you, it was a success! In the next few days we’ll be mailing out surveys to collect the information we need to send you your reward (mailing address, tshirt sizes, etc). So keep an eye on your inbox for one more Kickstarter email.

On behalf of everyone who works so hard to make DC State Fair happen, I want to express how truly grateful we are for the community’s support during this Kickstarter campaign. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you so much. Not only did we reach our initial goal of $3500, but we even reached our second goal of $5000 just before the Kickstarter ended tonight. Continue reading “Kickstarter goal reached!”

What to bring to a seedling swap

woman in scuba gear
Photo by Flickr user Chadica

Overalls? A prom dress? Scuba gear? Sure, wear ’em all. It’s not so much about how you gussy up for the DC State Fair Seedling Swap, but what you bring.

Here’s what we suggest:

Seedlings you’ve grown or bought (although if you don’t have any, you are still very welcome to come!), labeled with at the very least plant name and variety (growing info would be great, too!)

Some tips to share about how to grow the seedlings you’re bringing

1 cardboard box or tray big enough to hold at least 4 to 6 seedlings–bring several in case you walk home with more

1 notebook to record ideas, stash instructions on building a raised bed, and jot down the contact info of your new gardener friends

Your phone with camera and Twitter to share the event using the #seedlingswap hashtag

1 Rubbermaid-style 5-gallon plastic bin to make a worm bin

1 old shoe to grow a sunflower

Cash for contributions and purchasing unique seedlings and plant starts (ginger, turmeric, and more!) from Three Part Harmony Farm

Questions? E-mail us. See you there!