By Darrell Blackwelder
For the Farm Carolina
SALISBURY — The Rowan County Fair Association members, along with volunteers, met earlier this week to prepare for the 61st annual Rowan County Fair.
The fair opens on Sept. 17, and it’s not too early for those who want to enter exhibits to begin planning and determining their entries.
Fortunately, the recent cooler weather provided a needed respite for gardeners who have some horticultural entries.
Garden exhibits and fruit (Department C in the catalog) has various categories for almost every fruit and vegetable suitable for growing in Rowan County. There are categories for most unusual fruit and most unusual vegetable and any other vegetable. This also offers a separate division for junior horticulture entries. It’s open to anyone in Rowan County under the age of 20.
Flowers are also a popular area of interest. Department D offers categories in potted plants, cut flowers, hanging baskets and flower arrangements. Junior horticulturists may also enter with the same categories as the adults.
Those with productive vegetable gardens and fruits may want to consider placing entries in food preservation, (Department F). The shelves will be a virtual rainbow of jewel-toned jars of canned foods and jellies.
The Rowan County Master Gardener Volunteer Association, 4-H Clubs, farm agencies and high school vocational agriculture programs will have display booths in the Exhibition Hall located at the center of the fairgrounds.
Fair exhibits and educational booths provide opportunities to observe agriculture’s impact in Rowan County.
Below is information concerning entering an exhibit in the Rowan County Agricultural Fair:
• All entries must be entered on an official entry blank which can be found in the 2012 Rowan County Fair catalog.
• Entry forms are due no later than Friday, Sept. 7. The official entry forms can be turned in to Cooperative Extension at the Agriculture Center on Old Concord Road in Salisbury or faxed at 704-216-8995. Entries can also be mailed in advance to 2012 Rowan County Fair, P.O. Box 66, Salisbury, NC 28145-0066.
• Exhibits are accepted from 2-6 p.m. Sunday, Sept, 16.
• Judging begins at 9 a.m., Monday, Sept. 17.
• Entries and exhibits will be released on Sunday, Sept. 23 from 2-4 p.m. Premium check and awards can be picked up also at this time.
Rowan County Fair Catalogs will soon be arriving at the Cooperative Extension Service on Old Concord Road, the Salisbury Post, Rowan Public Library and various businesses in Rowan County.
The Rowan County Fair begins Monday, Sept. 17 and runs through Saturday, Sept. 22. The fair is located on Julian Road just east of I-85.
Darrell Blackwelder is County Extension Director, Rowan County Center, N.C. Cooperative Extension. 704-216-8970