Competitive entries are what makes the State Fair what it is. Located inside the Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum, we have entries for culinary works, arts and crafts, photography, and so much more.
Anything and everything is welcome for submission. From model rockets over three feet tall to vintage quilts; begun by one generation and finished by another, the Arizona State Fair accepts almost all entries. This year, the Arizona State Fair has received nearly 6,000 submissions for its hundreds of categories offered.
“There’s a crochet possum plastic bag holder,” MaryEllen Simmons said, the Arizona State Fair’s Exhibits Coordinator. “I did have a woman enter a small bust of her late husband.”
MaryEllen has worked at the Arizona State Fair for 16 years, overseeing tens of thousands of entries. She has seen entries submitted by people all across Arizona, all of which will be showcased in this year’s State Fair.
“They come from St. Johns all the way down to Cochise County”, MaryEllen said. “All fifteen counties!”
The exhibit entries include 4-H, AG Mechanics, Culinary, Horticulture, Home Arts, Youth and Student Arts, Fine Arts, and Photography. Each exhibit is filled with its own respective division, grouped by youth, teen, adult, amateur, professional, or person(s) with disabilities, and is categorized even further by classification to get more specific by entry.
These divisions offer a wide variety of submission categories for creators to participate in from ornamental welding to every type of pie imaginable. No matter how niche the category, there’s something for everyone here at the Arizona State Fair.
The Arizona State Fair offers the opportunity for crafts and artwork to be displayed as well as sold at the fair. Items ranging from ceramic porcelain paintings to hand-stitched animals can be bought at these exhibits. The artists will collect a 90% sales commission with the remaining proceeds going to the fair. This is all voluntary as every item submitted does not have to be open for sale.
People can also present their skills in other ways by becoming a demonstrator. Close to 60 volunteers will display their talents by showcasing their expertise with spectators throughout the exhibits.
“We have a wood artist who carves a kid’s first initial in a piece of wood and gives it to them for free,” MaryEllen said. “We have a guy who’s going to do papercraft expressions with a Cricut machine. A rock and jewelry specialist who shows dinosaur bones, dinosaur teeth, shark teeth and talks to kids about that.”
The exhibits are free for all fairgoers interested in experiencing eccentric and diverse talents that showcase the best of Arizona.
“There’s an amazing array of talent, things you wouldn’t even think of,” MaryEllen said. “You can get inspired that someone could do that or maybe