Our contests for kids and adults highlight the agricultural, artistic, and even athletic talents of the District of Columbia. All contestants must be residents of Washington, DC. All contests that require sign-up except for Best Bud, Best Homebrew, Best Cider, and Best Wine are open to DC residents of all ages. Live contest age criteria are listed at the bottom of this page.

First, second, and third place winners will receive ribbons. 

Note: If you enter a contest, you cannot be a judge of the same contest (of any category). You may enter a contest but judge another one (must be an entirely different contest).

Please contact the Contests Committee at with any questions.


Please note that drop-off for all contests except compost and chili will take place ahead of the Fair. Please see sign-ups for details and feel free to email us with any questions!

2018 Contests (2019 will be announced soon!)

Baked Goods

  • Biscuit. (NEW for 2018!)
  • Bread. (Now also includes Best Gluten-Free Bread!)
  • Cookies. (NEW for 2018! Includes Best Gluten-Free Cookies!)
  • Donut. (NEW for 2018!)
  • Pie: Best Apple, Best Fruit (Non-Apple), Best Non-Fruit, Best Savory, and Best Crust. PLUS Overall Best Pie in Show.
  • Turnover/Dumpling (NEW for 2018! Savory and sweet categories!)


  • Fiber Arts.

Growing and Gardening

  • Best Bud.
  • Compost.
  • Heaviest, Longest and Funkiest Looking Vegetable.
  • Tomato: Best Red, Best Non-Red and Best Heirloom.


  • Chili.
  • Cider (NEW for 2018!).
  • Honey.
  • Homebrew.
  • Ice Cream.
  • Jams and Jellies: Best Strawberry, Best Berry (Non-Strawberry) and Best Non-Berry.
  • Mumbo Sauce.
  • Pickled Foods: Best Cucumber, Best Non-Cucumber.
  • Salsa. (NEW for 2018!)
  • Wine.

Live Contests

Sign up by showing up! Unless otherwise noted, live contests are for people of all ages. 

  • Hula Hoop: Longest Hula Hooping and Most Creative Style 
  • Double Dutch
  • Limbo: Under Five Feet Tall and Over Five Feet Tall
  • Sloppy Joe Eating (Adults Only) 
  • Watermelon Seed-spitting: Kids Under 12, Teens 13-17 and Adults 18+
  • Ice Cream Eating: Kids 5-8, Kids 9-12
  • So You Think You Can Dance 
  • Whisker Wars (Adults Only): Best Moustache, Best ZZ Top Gnarly, The Lincoln (No ‘Stache!), Best Beard and ‘Stache Combo and The Creative Metrosexual 
  • Tattoo (Adults Only): Best Sleeve, DC-Themed, Black and Gray, Color Creative

Pet Contests

All pet contests are judged during the Pet Parade

  • Best Pet Costume
  • Best Pet and Owner Costume
  • Most Unidentifiable Mutt
  • Owner/Pet Lookalike
  • So Ugly… You’re Cute
  • Longest Sit-Stay
  • 50-Yard Dash
  • Best Catcher (Frisbee)
  • Best Fetcher (Tennis Ball)
  • Best Stupid Pet Trick
  • Largest Pet (Non-Dog)
  • Smallest Pet (Non-Dog)
  • Lonesome George (Non-Dog)

Read about the contest winners from the 2017 DC State Fair.