No trip to the Kern County Fair is complete without a visit to the exhibit halls, a cornucopia of culinary arts, collections and other eclectic wonders. And if you think you’ve got what it takes to compete with other passionate residents, there is still time to enter your own display in this year’s fair.

Events run the gamut from pies to photographs, canned goods to craft beer. If you produce something you’re proud of, there’s probably a place for you at the fair.

As it does each year, the fair has added a number of contests to keep competition fresh. New cooking categories include a Sandra Lee-esque “almost homemade,” dips, KC “The Bull” chili and sweet and savory (with honey as the only sweetener). The fair will also host a “Chopped”-style live contest for Bakersfield College culinary students and professional chefs.

Innovation is not just in the kitchen. The “then and now” category asks junior entrants to create a display celebrating the fair’s 100th birthday, with different classes for ag, carnival, floral, food and clothing/textile history.

Four new contests have been added for juniors during the run of the fair. Set to take place on Harvest Lane, competitions will be held in chalkboard art, ice cream and pizza eating and grape stomping.

A Quilts of Valor block category is also new for adult and junior quilters. For the contest, entrants are asked to make blocks appropriate for these special quilts that are awarded to U.S. military service members and veterans who have been touched by war.

Fair catalogs are available at various locations in the county including Beale Memorial, Taft, Tehachapi and Wasco libraries and the Board of Trade office (2101 Oak St.). It is also online at kerncountyfair.com under the Participate heading.

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