June 17, 2008

Deadline for Open Show Nears

By Danielle Rush, Kokomo Tribune, Ind.

Jun. 17--Neva Boyce's 4-H days may be behind her, but she still has projects to complete for the Howard County Fair, planned for July 7-13.

Boyce's projects, which include china painting, cross stitch and a wreath, are for the Extension Homemakers Open Show, which is part of the county fair.

Deadline to fill out paperwork to enter the open show is Friday. Projects will be entered 8 to 10 a.m. June 30 at the block building at the Howard County Fairgrounds. Projects will be released 8 to 11 a.m. July 12.

Lydia Barnard, open show chairwoman, said approximately 50 people usually enter items in the show.

"The purpose of having an open show is to showcase the talent of our local people. This is open to anybody in the county," Barnard said. "It's a neat way to showcase their talents without having to go to the time, aggravation or expense of entering the state fair."

She said there are a variety of categories, including sewing, embroidery, foods, food preservation, china painting, Christmas, hand crafts and many others.

New categories this year include pound cakes, wearable art and sewing and tote bags.

Last year, the organization offered a machine embroidery category for the first time, and Barnard won the sweepstakes, or grand champion, award.

Those who win the sweepstakes award win a cash prize, and Barnard said it's been raised from $5 to $10 for the 2008 fair. Funding is provided by the Howard County Farm Bureau Women, the Kokomo Chapter of the American Sewing Guild, the Piecemakers Quilt Guild and Guarantee Vacuum and Sewing.

Boyce has entered projects, including china painting, cross stitch, wreaths and the Christmas category, for the past 10 years. Many of her projects for this year are done, or nearing completion, she said.

She likes entering the show because "I was in 4-H when I was younger. I think it's just nice to keep things going in the 4-H area. I just like to display things I've made."

She also enjoys the feedback from judges.

"You get comments about what you haven't done right, or things you did do right. It's helpful when you're going to paint again."

She's won several sweepstakes awards, and also enters items in the Indiana State Fair.

Boyce said one year, when the late Frank O'Bannon was governor, a vase she painted won governor's choice and was displayed in the governor's mansion.

Barnard said the open show began as a one-day exhibit of work by members of the extension homemakers.

"We had to wait until 4-H cleared out their buildings, and set up all day Saturday."

She said it's fun to enter the competition.

"It's just fun to see, especially when you enter a project. You have no idea if you're going to win a sweepstakes or if you're not. It's fun to do and it gives people a little pride."

Entry fee is $5 for up to five items. Maximum entry fee is $8.

For more information or to request an entry form, call the Howard County Extension Office at (765) 456-2313, or go to the extension office at 120 E, Mulberry St. Room 105, Kokomo.


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