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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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That giant pumpkin in your garden could still win a Spokane County Interstate Fair ribbon as some exhibits go virtual

UPDATED: Thu., Aug. 20, 2020

Donna Gibson (left) and Wendy Sienknecht judge quilts on Sept. 4, 2019 at the Spokane County Interstate Fair and Expo Center. Although much of the 2020 fair has been cancelled because of the pandemic, there still will be judging of quilts, baked goods, animals and other items.  (Libby Kamrowski)
Donna Gibson (left) and Wendy Sienknecht judge quilts on Sept. 4, 2019 at the Spokane County Interstate Fair and Expo Center. Although much of the 2020 fair has been cancelled because of the pandemic, there still will be judging of quilts, baked goods, animals and other items. (Libby Kamrowski)

Though many of the familiar parts of the Spokane County Interstate Fair are canceled, the most ubiquitous event, showcasing community art, baked goods, craft projects, produce and livestock will continue online.

Erin Gurtel, Spokane County Fair and Expo Director, said the fair is an opportunity for those who have been at home for the last few months to share any skills they’ve honed or items they’ve created while self-isolating.

“We know people have been busy and home bound and exploring new activities and we hope they have something they want to share with us, and the community,” she said.

The deadline to enter Lego building projects, cake decorating, quilts, table decorating, wine labels, 4-H presentations and educational posters is Friday. Most items can be entered by submitting a photo, or a video, depending on the type of exhibit, and emailing the entry with a name, address, phone number, age and a description of the entry to fair@spokanecounty.org.

Livestock entries are also due on Friday by midnight.

Beer, bread, gardens, flowers and pumpkins are all due in early September and some horticulture entries, such as pumpkins and hay, must be delivered to the fair in person for inspection.

Spokane County Fair Coordinator Jessica McLaughlin said fair staff had already seen around two dozen entries including a chicken from South Carolina and a Lego recreation of Riverfront Park.

She said eight or nine llamas had also been entered in the fair and several pigs.

Those entering livestock into the fair will need to make a video showing their animals and will pay a livestock entry fee. All still entries are free and people will not have to buy a ticket to view the entries online or participate in any of the planned activities.

McLaughlin said this year’s fair theme, “expect the unexpected” has held true as fair staff prepared for this year’s events, and they’re hoping community members working on fair projects will “think outside of the box” when entering their projects.

Full instructions for entering an exhibit into the fair can be found at www.spokanecounty.org/1256/Exhibitors-Guide.

In addition to entering projects into the fair, there will also be a fair food drive on Sept. 11-13 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. The public can purchase food they are accustomed to eating at the fair such as cotton candy and funnel cakes.

Gurtel said she and the staff have been working hard to create versions of events that many in the community are familiar with and a new way to enjoy fair food.

“We want to still celebrate the fair and provide that opportunity to engage with the community,” she said. “This is only temporary for this year and we’re looking forward to getting back to our traditional fair for 2021.”

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