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Felix Adamo / The Californian

Judged preserves at the Kern County Fair in 2012. The still exhibit catalog for this year's fair is online and will be available to pick up starting July 7.

The Kern County Fair is more than two months away but planning for the dozens of still exhibits and contests begins now.

Patt Sandrini, fair entry department supervisor, offered a peek at what's new this year.

Baked contests: New categories include vegan dessert, Best in the West ribs and anything bacon. There are a number of new timed contests, including ultimate grilled sandwich, gourmet stuffed burger, favorite omelet, perfect hot dog, gourmet sliders, quesadilla my way and best taco. Sandrini noted that timed contests are limited for space (from six to eight contestants) so people should plan ahead.

Needle arts: The Quilts for Kids contest benefits Small Miracles Foundation at Memorial Hospital. After entries are judged they will be donated to Memorial Hospital's pediatric ward.

California state parks 150 anniversary: Special contests will be offered in needle arts, photography, fine art, decorative art, hobby, harvest hall (youth). Contestants must identify the state park incorporated in the entry, and first-place winners will receive a ribbon and one-day state park pass.

Farm junk sculpture: "Farmers usually have lots of junk so weld it together, glue it together, etc., and bring the sculpture to Building 1," Sandrini said.

Harvest dolls: Both adults and juniors are challenged to make dolls out of apples, nutshells, vegetables or other produce.

Melon painting: Adult and junior competitors are challenged to paint a "festive, fabulous fair melon" and enter them in the contest.

Painted or decorated eggs: categories for adults, teens and juniors entering painted or decorated eggs.

Catalogs with deadlines and entry details and entry forms are available now on the fair's website ( Physical copies will be available starting Monday at the fair entry department, 1142 South P St.