‘Let the good times grow’: Bring your flowers, fruits and veggies to the Chelan County Fair

By Connie Mehmel
WSU Chelan/Douglas County Master Gardener

Kids with award ribbons at the Chelan County Fair.
Ava, Amelia and Claire Henley show off their zinnias during last year’s Chelan County Fair. This year’s fair begins Sept. 7, with entries accepted Sept. 6 from 9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. – Provided photo/Connie Mehmel
Harold Weed award winners at the Chelan County Fair.
Merry Samuel and Mollie DeKorte shared the Harold Weed Award for most blue ribbons in the vegetable department during last year’s Chelan County Fair. – Provided photo/Connie Mehmel
Connie Mehmel
Connie Mehmel – WSU Extension Chelan/Douglas County Master Gardener – Provided photo

Since 1952, the Chelan County Fair has been a place to showcase our communities, our many talents, and the wonderful things we produce in our region. The festive, family event is open to the public Sept. 7-10.

The fair theme for 2023 is “Let the Good Times Grow.” It’s a perfect theme for the WSU Extension Master Gardeners of Chelan and Douglas Counties, superintendents of the Boswell Building, where flowers, fruits, vegetables and home brew are displayed.

Located by the main entrance, the Boswell Building is bordered by three theme gardens: flowers on the west side, herbs on the northwest corner and a raised bed for vegetables near the north entrance.

Sept. 6 is the day for exhibitors to bring entries to the fair. If you are a gardener with flowers, fruits or vegetables to enter, come to the Boswell Building on Sept. 6 anytime between 9 a.m. and 8:30 p.m. A Master Gardener will be there to help you. There is no charge to enter exhibits, and if you also want to attend the fair, you can get an exhibitor discount on your ticket.

Provided photo/Connie Mehmel
On Sept. 7, our judging panel will look at every exhibit and award ribbons. Exhibits are judged using the Danish system, which means every exhibit is judged on its own merits. A first-place blue ribbon is given to every entry that meets all the standards for its class, a second-place red ribbon goes to every exhibit that is good but does not meet one or more standards, and a third-place white ribbon is given to every exhibit that needs improvement.

The fair awards premium points to every exhibit, with the number of points depending on the ribbon. After the fair, any exhibitor who accumulated at least $5 worth of premium points receives a check. It’s one more reason to exhibit at the Fair. So come and enter your apples and asters, your zinnias and zucchini, and everything in between. Don’t be afraid!

We know some exhibitors feel nervous about having their exhibits judged. If you prefer not to be judged, you can enter an item as “Display Only.” We still want to see you in the Boswell Building!

Sept. 8-10, we will have a number of interesting events in the Boswell Building, including presentations on using native plants in your landscape, how to make beautiful flower arrangements, lives of solitary bees, and getting started with home brewing. There will be an opportunity for kids to make paper flowers, and the Master Gardeners plant diagnosis team will be there to help identify plant problems and pests.

There is much to see at the fair. Walk around and you will find exhibits of quilting, spinning, needlework and beekeeping. There will be painting, photography, jewelry and lapidary. There are horses, cattle, goats, sheep, and a wide variety of chickens and rabbits. You can enjoy the rodeo, the music and the carnival.

Everyone is welcome. We hope to see you soon.

A WSU Chelan and Douglas County Master Gardener column appears weekly in The Wenatchee World. To learn more, visit bit.ly/MGchelandouglas or call (509) 667-6540.