Although gates to the Richmond County Fair didn’t officially open until 4 p.m. on Tuesday, a group of judges arrived in the morning to select the best of breeds and the most colorful of quilts.
Fair exhibits were lined up in hopes of receiving a blue, red or yellow ribbon in categories such as horticulture, baked goods, food conservation, clothing, home furnishings, and arts and crafts.
Aimee Rankin, an Anson County Cooperative Extension agent, served as the horticulture judge for the day.
“We’re just checking that entry rules have been followed,” Rankin said on Tuesday. “We’re checking for quality and uniformity, and also to see if there’s any insect damage or anything else that would affect appearance.”
Inside the Fairgrounds Exhibition Building in Hamlet, judges also studied handmade quilts, leather, local artwork, homemade canned goods and more. Across the aisle, several informative agricultural booths were on display for fairgoers.
Also being judged were several of the animals in the livestock barn.
Area Extension Agent Richard Goforth, this year’s poultry judge, said the birds are judged according to their breeds and are divided into classes.
“It’s much like a dog show,” Goforth said. “There’s a standard of perfection to be met. We make sure the feather pattern is correct … and beyond that, we’re looking for how well they’re feathered, if their beak is straight, and overall conformation … We’re looking for the best-looking bird with the best shape. The little things are the difference between first and second place, but most of the birds win something.”
Fairgoers will be able to view the winners of this year’s competition throughout the week.
Fairground gates will open at 4 p.m. today, and admission is $4 for those older the age of 6. Free parking is also available.
— Staff Writer Mallory Brown can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 18, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.