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.

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


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 by midnight on February 1, 2017.

Apply by Nov 13 to be on the Board of Directors!

DC State Fair Board 2015

We’re thrilled to send you this call for applications to the DC State Fair board. As a supporter of the Fair, you’re in a great position to apply. Please consider throwing your hat into the ring to join our fun, hard-working, all-volunteer crew.

Applications are due November 13th, so don’t delay!

If you are a fan of the DC State Fair, you now have a chance to get to know us even better. We are seeking four new members of the Board of Directors. If you have experience with nonprofit management, event planning, organizational development, website development, or deep roots in the District, a community development and engagement background, or just a passion to bring agricultural, culinary, and arts education to the community to develop and encourage neighborly showcasing of talent and competition, then we want you to apply.

About DC State Fair
DC is home to gardeners, cooks, bakers, photographers, artists—and yet we didn’t have a state fair to celebrate the home-grown talents of the District. In 2010, that all changed: The first-ever DC State Fair was held to showcase the talents of DC’s residents. We are looking forward to making the 2016 Fair the best yet!

DC State Fair is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization.

The following duties are the responsibility of the leaders of DC State Fair and may be performed primarily by Board members: Direct the efforts of the various committees (Volunteer, Contests, Events, Community Outreach, Development Committees and Subcommittees [Board members are encouraged to participate in committee operations but do not necessarily need to act as committee chairs]); liaise with DC-based and other local organizations and businesses that complement and/or support the DC State Fair mission; ensure stable financial and legal standing (primarily performed by the CFO on the Board); offer programming and events throughout the year, in addition to the main Fair, possibly in collaboration with organizations that align with DC State Fair’s mission.

Time Commitment
Board members will attend regular meetings beginning in January and intermittent committee/volunteer management duties depending on chosen role. From May until the Fair in September, our work intensifies. The Board of Directors will have the greatest time commitment during this period. The overall commitment can range from 4 hours a month during the planning stages to 10+ hours a week as the event approaches, depending on role and personal availability. These are strictly volunteer opportunities.

Term of Office
Board members serve two-year terms, with overlapping terms.

To apply, please e-mail your resume, a cover letter (explaining why you want to be on the Board) to The deadline to apply is November 13, 2015.

2015 DC State Fair Winners

Below are the winners of the 2015 DC State Fair. Thank you to everyone who participated in the!

Congratulations to the winners!

Best Bud

Blue Kenneth Gore
Red Terence Ollivierra
White Patrick Burns


Blue Andrew Robie
Red Mark Perry
White John Henry Wheeler

Cut Flower

Blue Mark Perry
Red Ramona Winkelbauer
White Mark Perry

Floral Arrangement

Blue Mercina Tillemann-Dick
Red Joe Bozik
White Lindsey Truitt
Homegrown Mark Perry


Best in Show

Brian DeFord

Homebrew – Fruit & Spice

Blue Brian DeFord
Red Eric Lausten
White Michael Ficht

Homebrew – Yeast

Blue Austin Burke & Shawn Choy
Red Alex Lynch
White Omar Al-Nidawi

Homebrew – Malt

Blue Peter Saunders
Red Brian Holtemey
White Paydon Miller

Homebrew – Hop

Blue Robert Burrell
Red Eric Lausten
White Candace Archer
Homegrown Andy Oetman


Blue Caroline Hutton
Red Frank Asher
White Pavel Snejnevski

Kids Contests

Poetry PreK – 2 Grade

Blue Ella Davidson
Red Sadie Davidson

Poetry 3rd – 6th Grade

Blue Grace Gavin
Red Elon Wilson

Art PreK – 2nd Grade

Blue Phoebe Luecke
Red Sajan Torchia
White Felix Zook

Art 3rd – 6th Grade

Blue Melaiya Brooks
Red Alcia Bangura
White Hans Zook

Art 7th – 9th Grade

Blue Arjinae Jones

Knitting and Crocheting Contest

Blue Tracy Lini
Red Jennifer Biehl
Red Pamela Spence
White Tina Morgan

Pickled Foods


Blue Mark Perry
Red Robert Carlson
White Kelly Domesle
HG Mark Perry

Pickled – Other Vegetable

Blue Mindy Hackett
Red Andrew Robie
White Kelly Domesle

Pickled – Fruit

Blue Mindy Hacket
Red Mark Perry
White None

Pie Contests


Blue Elizabeth Pletcher
Red Sarah Stella
White Ninette Dean

Pie – Sweet

Blue Sarah Stella
Red Elizabeth Zeitler
White Ranyee Chiang
Homegrown Sarah Stella

Pie – Apple

Blue Elizabeth Pletcher
Red Ninette Dean
White Elizabeth Helton

Pie – Savory

Blue Nina Zimdahl
Red Elizabeth Zeitler
White Ellen McBarnette
Homegrown Ellen McBarnette

Pie – Crust

Blue Elizabeth Pletcher
Red Ninette Dean
White Sarah Stella

Tastiest Tomato 

Blue JO Wilson School Garden
Red Mark Perry
White Niraj Ray

Vegetable Contest

Funkiest Veggie

Blue Andrew Robie
Red Mark Perry
White Name missing (round cucumber)

How to Hand Tie Your Flower Bouquet

If you’re entering the Flower Arranging contest at the DC State Fair this Saturday, you’ve been asked to deliver the bouquet in a hand tied bunch.

Not sure how to do that? Check out this video from the authors of Simple Flower Arranging, Mark Welford and Stephen Wicks, to learn how to make a simple hand tied flower arrangement.

Preregistration for the Flower Arranging contest is due September 10th. We will be accepting onsite registration on the day of the Fair up to 50 entries. Register today!

Adopt Force 1 to the Rescue!

adopt force one DC State Fair is excited to announce that the Washington Humane Society will be at the event from 12 to 4pm.  They will also be marching in the Pet Parade with some of the furry friends that are up for adoption.

Both dogs and cats will be available for adoption at their mobile adoption vehicle Adopt Force 1, which is a one stop shop for adoptions. Visitors are invited on board to view cats while volunteers walk dogs in the vicinity.

All adoptions are same day, meaning adopters can take home their newest family member straight from the event!

Find out more at


Interview with Let’sGrowDC’s Chris Washburn

Chris Washburn, owner and founder of Let’sGrowDC—and sponsor of the DC State Fair Best Bud Contest—recently caught up with DC State Fair board members to talk about his background, business, and the organic urban gardening revolution taking place in DC today.

Q: In a few words, what is Let’sGrowDC and how can it help District residents?
A: Let’sGrowDC provides affordable gardening resources and supplies—and also offers gardening classes. The classes offered are for everyone, including first time gardeners and advanced hydroponic gardeners. We also provide individual consulting and design to help bring our clients gardening ideas to life. Whether they are growing in or around their own home, or building out a large commercial garden, we have the tools and knowledge to design and construct the garden while ensuring that the garden environment is as efficient and cost effective as possible.

Q: Specifically, what kind of services and products does Let’sGrowDC provide to District residents?
A: Let’sGrowDC provides gardening classes; design services for indoor, outdoor, rooftop, residential, commercial, and industrial spaces; conducts feasibility studies; offers wholesale fulfillment; sale of retail supplies; and installation services at home or for commercial spaces.

Q: How is Let’sGrowDC different from other urban gardening consultants in DC?
Let’sGrowDC combines both retail indoor and outdoor garden supply with education, design, and consultation. The shop primarily focuses on supporting local indoor gardeners, while outside the shop we have a more familiar landscaping model tweaked to fit our urban environment. We also provide feasibility, consultation, design, and fulfillment for large commercial installations by providing support from staffing and operating commercial gardens.

Q: What’s your background and experience with gardening?
A: I grew up on a farm in Great Falls Virginia, where I was first introduced to organic gardening. In 1999, in Eugene, Oregon, I first began hydroponics and indoor gardening. I spent a decade working at various medicinal marijuana grow operations throughout the state, including my own personal indoor garden, which produced everything from cannabis to tomatoes.

Q: What’s your most notable experience as one of DC’s urban gardening consultants?
A: What I love the most about working in the District is the sense of community and camaraderie among experienced gardeners and I enjoy meeting first time gardeners. The city is prime for urban gardening and as it continues gain popularity so does the need for education about growing techniques, which should come from local experienced gardeners sharing their knowledge throughout the community.

Q: What’s your inspiration for starting Let’sGrowDC?
A: People have been farming for more than100,000 years, yet in only the past 50 years we have given up the practice of self-reliant farming in favor of more specialized lifestyles, thus requiring our food and produce to be purchased from stores. Specifically in urban settings, there is a general lack of active farms and home gardens, as well as gardening knowledge. It is Let’sGrowDC’s goal to help spread gardening knowledge throughout the city, and to help potential gardeners reach their goals. I personally began gardening indoors with hydroponics in the late 1990s, and from day one it changed my life. I think we all have a gene inside of us, which encourages us to cultivate. Once you do begin to cultivate your garden, it feels great. It feels like you’re living a happier, healthier life.

Visit Let’sGrowDC at 1111 10th st SE, near the navy yard metro station, and see for yourself what makes Let’sGrowDC stand out from other DC-based indoor urban gardening centers.