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How to enter a competition in the Woodbury County Fair

The Woodbury County Fair offers dozens of fun competitions for participants of all ages, but if you're new to entering county fair events, it can be a little confusing to figure out how to get in on the fun. I've entered competitions at the fair myself several years now, and talked to Woodbury County Extension/4H to get more details, and here is what I found out:

in background, a lime green lego helicopter has a blue ribbon tied to it from the Woodbury County Fair. In the foregrounds, the words "how to compete at the Woodbury County Fair"



Choosing your events

The Fairbook available on the Woodbury County Fair website lists all of the fun events and competitions

There are 3 main types:
  • 4H Events-you have to be a member of 4H to participate in these events. They usually require a long time commitment ahead of the fair, such as raising animals! You can find more info on signing up for 4H in Woodbury County here if your children would like to enter those events in the future
  • Ope.n Class Events- anyone can enter these events as long as they meet the age and residency requirements. To enter, competitors must purchases an exhibitor pass , bring your exhibits on the designated day, and some require a long time commitment ahead of the fair, such as growing vegetables or animals or sewing a quilt! I'll share more below about entering open class events. 
  • Daily Special Events- anyone can enter these events as long as they meet the age requirements, and you don't have to sign up before the fair. This includes things like foot races and sack races in Old Town, pie eating contests, and plenty of other fun!

Signing up for open class events

To compete in an open class event at the Woodbury County Fair, you need to:
  • Read through the current year's Woodbury County Fairbook and create an entry that fits the requirements for one of the open class event
  • Buy an adult season pass ($12) or youth exhibitor pass ($2) which includes admission to every day of the fair!
  • Make an address label for any items you intend to enter in the fair with your name and address
  • Bring any required items and their labels to the fairgrounds at the designated time. For most events, that means Monday afternoon the week of the fair, but some events, mainly food events that judges will want to eat promptly, should be brought Saturday. The Fairbook will have the drop-off dates for all events.  
  • Tag your items with entry tags provided at the fair--this is where you will stick your address labels!
Whatever you love to create, there's probably an event at the fair that you can enter. But some of the events that might be especially accessible to people to to the fair include:
  • Lego creations
  • Crafts made from a kit
  • Cookies (enter 3 on a plate)
  • Handmade ornaments using materials available circa 1900
  • Cut garden flowers
  • Trash to Treasure upcycling
But everyone is welcome to enter any event they'd like whether it's your first fair or your 50th (as long as you are in the right age range!) Show off your skills!


If you need help

If you need help you should contact the county fair or the fair department supervisors, who are listed in fairbook (their contact information is listed throughout the book before the list of events in their department.) 

Want to read more about county fairs? Check out the parents guide to the Woodbury County Fair and my roundup of Siouxland County Fairs


A big thank you to the Woodbury County Extension Office who was very friendly, knowledgeable, and helpful in writing this post!

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