New Castle News

August 12, 2013

Lawrence County Fair entrants seek judges’ approval Saturday

Kurt Stalma
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — The Lawrence County Fair begins today, but for many, the festivities started Saturday.

That’s when judges began making their rounds through the exhibition barns at the fairgrounds. Participants competed for ribbons and bragging rights in several categories.

The categories included baked goods, vegetables, fruits, flowers, wine, antiques and projects created by local 4-H members.

Kristen Trask and Barbara Benson, judges for the baked goods, have been coming to the fairgrounds to judge since 2009. Benson said she always looks forward to speaking with the contestants and fellow judges.

As for what they look for when it comes to judging the baked goods, Trask said it is pretty straightforward. She explained the criteria on which they judge, using chocolate cake as an example.  

“When it comes to baking, we judge based on the density of the cake, the flavor, the appearance, and whether or not they’re cooked completely,” she said.

The exhibition barn where the entries of 4-H members were judged was one that was rich in tradition. Judge Trena Henthorn said she went to Penn State back in the 1960s, when she was in the 4-H, to train to be a judge.

She said when judging, she makes sure that the contestants follow all the rules, which were established by the 4-H.

“This year’s been hard on the kids because of the rain so I take that into consideration,” she said.

Mary Thomas has been entering flowers for six years, and said she’s created a recipe for success.

“Mine survived the weather because I brought all my pots in when it rained, so mine didn’t get damaged badly like other people’s did.”

Thomas took home first-place ribbons this year, as well as in years past. She said she loves being a part of judging day, because of how nice and informational the judges are.

Another contestant, Autumn Davis, said this was her fourth year, and she brought flowers, crafts and vegetables. This year, she won first-, second-, and third-place ribbons, but Davis said that she’s no stranger to winning ribbons, as she’s won many in the past.

Saturday’s turnout for judging day goes to show that the agricultural goods are the pride and joy of the Lawrence County Fair.