While the Polk County Fair is best known for the rodeo and animal exhibits, there's plenty more to see in the open class categories, from foods to photography to farm crops.
Growers, artists and crafters in Polk County can exhibit in nine categories, including textiles, youth and adult crafts, fine arts, poetry, photography, flowers, fruits and vegetable, and grains, honey and forestry products.
Evenlyn Hubbard has been the superintendent of the foods for more than five years and has seen, tasted, some blue-ribbon creations — and some on the other end of the scale.
“We had some sort of bread or something, it was so hard we couldn’t break it, so we couldn’t judge because the judge couldn’t get a piece off to taste. We’ve had cookies that were, oh, terrible,” she said with a laugh. “But we’ve had some wonderful stuff too. We had a chocolate cheesecake one year. Oh, that was good. Everybody had a piece of that.”
The biggest contests in the foods division are Queen of the Kitchen, King of the Cook Stove and Junior Chef, which has each contestant turning in entries for several categories.
People who are not yet ready for royalty will have their culinary handiwork in a variety of categories, from canning to cookies, on display at the fair.
Didn’t have your entry ready by the deadline? You can still show off your dessert making skills and get free admission on Saturday morning with your best chocolate cake or apple pie. Sponsored by Niky B’s Cakes of Dallas and Ovenbird Bakery of Independence, these contests come with a $50 prize for the winner.
Exhibits will remain on display throughout the fair, so take some time away from the barns and arenas to check out who won prizes.
“I hope that people come and see all the neat stuff that is produced right here in Polk County,” Hubbard said.