Activities and booths come and go, but the exhibit hall has been a constant since 1980. It is a wonderful opportunity for anyone to enter artwork, food, plants, and other creations to be displayed and judged.
This year, the exhibit hall, other than the usual methods of displaying, were the crate-type boxes stacked together displaying the fresh produce, flowers, and other items originating from nature. One viewer said it added a “fun, elegant yet country feel.”
There were several entries that astounded and delighted all senses. There were vegetables that were picked at their peak like the long zucchini and vibrant green bell peppers while yet another entry boasted of three green tomatoes. One participant submitted several miniature trees, many of which were decades old. One, he claims, was around 70 years old. Pastries and other baking delights were on display, with a slice gone during the judging process for taste testing, looking irresistible behind the glass. There were Lego designs and other creations; talent on all levels were on display. Even three parade floats were made by children, inviting people to cast votes for their favorite. Intricately designed quits.
One mother, Penny Pincock, has had years of special experiences with the exhibit hall. As they do almost every year, several of her kids entered their projects to be judged. “I think the fair is a really neat way to showcase lots of different talents. There are some people who have amazing gardens or who are really good at art or at sewing or at woodworking or painting or at Legos or at heritage projects or baking. And at the fair, all of these accomplishments can be celebrated,” enthused Pincock. “A highlight for our family is to go to the exhibit hall and see how our projects did. Some of our funniest inside jokes come from the comments that judges have made on our scorecards. And then we always hope that at least one of our projects qualifies to go to the state fair because then the 4-H office gives us tickets to go to the state fair and the fair fund just keeps going.”
Pincock explains how her family started with the exhibit hall, “One of my children’s favorite part of the fair is getting projects ready to enter in the 4-H competition. They are really lucky and have their Grandma Cannon as one of their 4-H leaders. She has taught them all how to sew. They have done different projects from aprons and pillowcases to dresses and robes. This Spring, as her garden was full of beautiful flowers, we spent a day picking our favorite ones. And then she taught us how to dry them and special sand that she collected from the great Salt Lake in the 70s. We also pressed some of the flowers in books. And it was fun months later to pull the flowers out and create a beautiful home decorations with them.”
“I have attended our county fair for more years than I can count,” commented local resident Cathy Dinsdale. “Although I’ve visited other areas of the fair, the exhibit hall has remained my favorite. We are fortunate to have so many talented crafters, artists, gardeners and 4-H’rs in Morgan and it’s fun to see their creations. Thank you, fair committee, for another successful year. On behalf of the Morgan Daughters of Utah Pioneers, thanks to all who participated in our annual quilt fundraiser. We appreciate your contribution and wish you good luck in the September drawing.”
The entries were in different categories according to age. Youth were considered ages 12 and under, Juniors were ages 13 to 18, Adults were 19 through 64, and Seniors were ages 65 and above. On Aug. 1, all entries, apart from a few divisions, were entered in the exhibit. On Aug. 8, all exhibits were picked up except the baked goods.
There are several entry classes ranging from woodwork, leather craft, flower arranging, ceramics, beading, arts and crafts, paper craft, jewelry, fabric craft, ornamental horticulture, cake decorating, knot tying, afghans, clothing, and so much more. Almost anyone with any type of interest can enter and be judged. If one wants to participate, rules state that exhibits may only be entered by current Morgan County Residents. A new rule made in 2019 mandated that Exhibitors will be paid no more than $30 total, per person, no matter how many entries they enter. Grand Champion and Reserve Champion are given at the judge’s discretion. Further, exhibitors may only win Grand Champion two years in a row.
“There is a wonderful group of volunteers that sacrifice their time and energy year after year. They enjoy prepping the building to get it ready to receive all of the beautiful items that are brought in by the community,” says Lynelle Rich, Fair Board Member in charge of the exhibit hall. “We love showing off Morgan’s talent!”