Top Fair Awards Spotlight Talent


The 52nd Annual Northern Gila County Fair showcased the many talents of residents of all ages.

The exhibit areas at the Tonto Apache Recreation Center were a sea of blue, red, white and green ribbons. Just about every entry was presented with a ribbon. Top prizes were the Best of Show, Best of Class and Judge's Choice ribbons.

Horticulture and agriculture awards

The high honors in the horticulture and agriculture departments were claimed by: Harold Killgore, Payson, for his habanera chilis; Anna Roberts, Payson, for her broccoli and her tomatoes; Rachael Ralls, Pine, for her Granny Smith apples; Jim Albritton, Oxbow Estates, for his garlic. Pat Albritton (Jim's better half) won the Judge's Choice award for her kaleidoscope carrots.

Floral division

In the floral division John Ross, Payson, won Best of Show with his pink dahlias; Gary Karlowski, Payson took both Best of Show and Judge's Choice ribbons with his rose collection, he also won Best of Shows with his coleus and inpatiens; Kailey Carnes, Payson, won Best of Show with her Angel Face floribunda rose; F.B. Elmore took a Best of Show with Russian sage; Eileen Lawson won Best of Show with her wheelbarrow arrangement and garden collection; a garden collection Best of Show was also awarded to Holden Argal, Payson; Jan Ranson, Payson, won Best of Show ribbons with her sunflowers and "potted chair" -- an old chair with the seat replaced by an arrangement of green plants in the moss basket.

Unique Zane Grey award

The Zane Grey award, the only one of its kind at the fair, was awarded in the fine arts department to Angie Cockle for a two-dimensional work; Judge's Choice ribbons in the department went to LeAnn Pendleton and Arlene Kowalisky.

Minerals and lapidary

John R. Colbert won a Best of Show with a turquoise bola tie featuring the Arizona Diamondbacks' "A" and a Judge's Choice ribbon in the minerals and lapidary department went to Sandy Peace for novelty food rocks.

Craft category awards

Other craft category top awards were won by: J.P. Bradley, Best of Class for Dremel use; Drew Kofile, Best of Show with a Lego townscape; John McKeen, Judge's Choice for a lamp; Paul Bartsch, Best of Show for wood carving.



The Perkes family of Payson had several prize-winning entries in the photography department at the 52nd Annual Northern Gila County Fair. Both Gina Perkes and Dalton Perkes won Best of Show ribbons. This is one of the winning photos, featuring the family dog.

The photography department had more entries than it could hang in its exhibit space, so some pieces were displayed on a table.

Photo awards were: Best of Class, John B. Avery, golden age division; Best of Show, Emma Randall, junior photography; Best of Show, Dalton Perkes, junior black and white; Best of Show, Gina Perkes, amateur black and white; Best of Show, G.E. McKelvey, amateur color; Judge's Choice, Julie Lodge, amateur color; Best of Show, Nick Berezenko, professional photography.

Homemaking arts

The homemaking arts department included fiber crafts such as quilting and sewing, baking and canning.

Top awards in fiber crafts went to: Virginia Tarajcak, pillowcase doll, Best of Show; Sandra Butler, wall hanging, Best of Show; Marla Leis, changing months moose, Best of Show; Carolyn Van Sant, woven window hanging, Best of Show; Annie Spencer, flag afghan, Best of Show; Mary Smith, crochet, Best of Show; Pat Kroll, knitting, Best of Show; Eloise Jones, plastic canvas dollhouse, Best of Show and Judge's Choice; Mitzi Paul, machine quilting, Best of Show; Jinny Kost, hand quilting, Best of Show; Marlene Bonney, quilting, Judge's Choice; Brenda Dickinson, memory quilt, Judge's Choice; Leslie Peacock, sewing, Best of Show.

Domestic science

"Crafts" from the kitchen saw top awards presented to: Mark Miller, pickles, Best of Show; Brenda Williams, salsa and canned juice, Best of Show; Jim Albritton, canned tomatoes, Best of Show; Pauline Rodriguez, chicken stock, Best of Show; Barb Schulte, ginger spice cake with cranberry compote, Best of Class and Best of Show, she also won Best of Class and Judge's Choice ribbons for her nut tarts; Jaime David Silva, crunchies, Best of Show; Melissa Vaillancourt, apple pie, Best of Show; Jinny Kost, ginger cookies, Best of Show; Priscille Wylie, mango conserves, Best of Class; Jeanette Schuster, canned apricots, Best of Class and Judge's Choice, she also won a Best of Show with her apricot and pineapple preserves; Hallie Overman, preserve, Best of Show; Marcia Olson, grape jelly, Best of Show.

School exhibits

In the school entries, a Judge's Choice ribbon was awarded to the Frontier Elementary School class taught by Allison Randall, for the entry, "Field of Daisies."

Livestock awards will be printed as soon as they are available.

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