State Fair of Texas Releases 2016 Creative Arts Competition Handbook

Now available online with all the details on the latest and greatest competitions, the 2016 Creative Arts Handbook is your guide to all things crafty. Whether you’re new to the crafting world or you consider yourself a Creative Arts veteran, the State Fair offers a wide variety of contests for participants on both ends of the spectrum. From jewelry making to pickle canning, pie baking to holiday decorating, and leather crafting to printmaking, the Creative Arts Department has something for the inner artist in you.

A quintessential element of the State Fair of Texas, the Creative Arts Building serves as a showcase for all the winning entries in each of the various competitions, as well as the location for daily contests throughout the run of the Fair. New pre-Fair contest categories have been added in the following departments: designer-craftsman, hobby collections, holiday corner, needlework and sewing, photography and quilts. These new categories range from beeswax sculpture in the designer-craftsman department to Christmas ornaments in the hobby collections department. Joining the list of on-site cook-offs this year is the “Dinner’s on Me” Contest, open to kids only. Similar to the “Guess What’s Cooking” contest, “Dinner’s on Me” gives younger fairgoers the chance to prepare a quick family meal using a mystery bag of ingredients. Aspiring chefs must fit into one of two age groups – eight through 12 or 13 through 17. Open to both adults and juniors, “Picnic with Coca-Cola” is another contest being added to the Creative Arts lineup for 2016. Contestants must somehow incorporate Coca-Cola into their recipe, with categories ranging from appetizer to dessert. Returning after its successful debut in 2015, “Honey, the Magic Ingredient” is a contest sponsored by the Texas Beekeepers Association that allows chefs to make any dish using honey.

With more than 1,100 categories in 12 different departments of pre-Fair contests, as well as daily competitions taking place during the Fair, amateurs and professionals of all ages have endless opportunities to demonstrate their creative skills. Contest departments include: art, ceramics, designer-craftsman, dolls, foods (canning), hobby collections, holiday corner, needlepoint and cross stitch, needlework and sewing, afghans, quilts, rugs and bedspreads, photography and scale modeling. Registration for the 2016 pre-Fair contests is under way, with a deadline of Friday, July 22 to submit entry forms and fees. Contestants have the option to submit their items via mail by July 22, or hand deliver items to the Creative Arts Building on August 12, 13 or 14 from 9 am to 5 pm. Only one entry per person may be submitted within each category. In the following weeks, entries will be judged and contestants will receive notification once the results are finalized. Entries that are awarded a ribbon will be on display during the 2016 State Fair of Texas, themed “Celebrating Texas Agriculture.”

On Sunday, September 25 the State Fair will hold its annual Chili Cook-Off, BBQ Cook-Off and Three-Pot Dutch Oven Cook-Off. The Grand Champion winners of each contest will receive a special Big Tex® trophy. In addition, the Three-Pot Dutch Oven Cook-Off winner will be eligible to compete in the 2017 International Dutch Oven Society’s World Championship Cook-Off in Sandy, Utah. Pre-registration for these events is requested, however entries will be accepted the day of the contests.

Due to popularity and limited space, the State Fair will hold a drawing on Friday, June 24 to choose the contestants for six additional on-site cooking contests during the Fair – the Ice Cream Freeze-Off, the Red River Showdown Biscuit Cook-Off, the Pizza Cook-Off, the “Guess What’s Cooking” Contest sponsored by Central Market, the “Dinner’s on Me” Kids Contest and the Cobbler Cook-Off. For a chance to be a contestant, the final date to submit a contest entry form is Monday, June 13.

For all contest details, download the 2016 Creative Arts Handbook at New contests have been added, some previous ones have been combined or removed, in addition to other updates. The 2016 State Fair of Texas runs September 30 through October 23. Register now to showcase your creative skills!

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About the State Fair of Texas

Since its inception in 1886, the State Fair of Texas has celebrated all things Texan by promoting agriculture, education, and community involvement through quality entertainment in a family-friendly environment. The State Fair of Texas is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with proceeds helping to preserve and improve Fair Park and underwrite museum, community and scholarship programs for inner city youth and students pursuing agricultural careers. The 2016 exposition runs September 30 through October 23 in Fair Park. Visit for more information.

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