If you want to win glory for your photographs, prize bulls, pies, paintings and a host of other proud creations — the deadline looms.
Northern Gila County has staged its own fair for 58 years and continues the tradition Sept. 6-9, but time is running out to get those entries ready to vie for ribbons and prize money.
All non-livestock entries into the fair are due Wednesday, Sept. 5. Competitors need to submit their entries between 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. to be judged Thursday, Sept. 6. Fair books with information on entries are at the libraries in Payson and Pine, the Payson Parks & Recreation office in Green Valley Park, and at the Rim Country Regional Chamber of Commerce.
Livestock entries from members of 4H and FFA were pre-registered by Aug. 25. Many of these will be auctioned starting at 6 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 8. Organizers expect 25 locally raised animals to be up for auction, including pigs, lambs, goats and steers. To participate, register as a buyer starting at 4 p.m. Registered buyers will receive a free ticket to the Buyers Dinner.
Open livestock entries can be preregistered through Saturday, Sept. 1 with Marsha Fitzhugh, (602) 291-2152. Fitzhugh will also take small animal open entries through Tuesday, Sept. 4. There is no fee to enter, but all entries must include the required information on official forms, which are the fair book.
Entries can be made in a mind-boggling number of categories in addition to the livestock and small animals.
Photography has long represented one of the most popular categories. First-year superintendent Harold Rush encourages every photographer in Rim Country to enter the fair this year. Returning as judge is the photo editor for Arizona Highways, Jeff Kida.
While photographers can submit up to 10 pictures, they can also enter just a single photo. Every photo needs to be on a mat board, though (Rush asked that no foam board be used) and can be no smaller than 5x7 or larger than 11x17.
The category has divisions for juniors, 17 and younger; seniors, 75 and older; and those from 18 to 74. Both color and black and white photos will be accepted. Categories include: nature; the man-made world; the human condition; and a different way of seeing things.
Those with a green thumb can enter the agriculture and horticulture department or the floriculture department.
Departments include homemaking arts like sewing projects; domestic arts like making baked goods, candy and dried or smoked foods; and canning. Hobby and craft entries include handcrafts, minerals, lapidary and fine arts.
Judging will take place privately in the exhibition tents at the Payson Event Center Thursday. The public on that day can attend the free FFA barrel and pole racing, along with goat tying competitions starting at 5 p.m.
The Northern Gila County Fair will have a craft fair and farmers market for the first time this year, with room for 10 to 15 booths. Space rents for $25 and participants need to bring their own table(s), seating and shade. The craft fair and market is limited to handmade or repurposed items and homemade food. All county and state requirements for handling food must be met by those vendors planning to sell food.
The craft fair and farmers market will open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Friday, Sept. 7 and Saturday, Sept. 8 and from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 9. To make arrangements to participate, call Marsha Fitzhugh at (602) 291-2152.
Other special attractions include a dog demonstration by the 4H Dog Club at 8:30 a.m., Friday, Sept. 7 and an archery demonstration and competition at 10 a.m., Friday, between the 4H Rim Country Deadshots and a 4H archery group from Globe.
The entire fair is open to the public from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., both Friday, Sept. 7 and Saturday, Sept. 8; the hours for Sunday, Sept 9 are 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., with the popular Demolition Derby starting at noon.
Admission to the fair on Friday and Saturday is $1 per person; admission on Sunday, which includes the Demolition Derby, is $10 for adults, $5 for those 13 down to age 3, with the toddlers getting in free.
The Great Northern Carnival will operate during the fair on the east side of the parking lot at the Payson Event Center, located just south of town on Highway 87.