CULLMAN, AL (WBRC) - By Katie Herrera
CULLMAN, AL (WBRC) - The Cullman County Fair kicks off Thursday, September 23. And for the first year, will last ten days. It's one of the last old-fashioned fairs. It's all about winning a blue ribbon.
Wednesday, contestants started bringing in their goods for judging. The Cullman County Fair has competitions for anything from hand-made quilts and crafts, to farmed goods and livestock.
"There's vegetables like okras and peas and carrots. There's lots and lots of tomatoes this year. We have jellies and jams and we even have nuts," explained president of the Cullman County Fair Association, Steven Murphree. He was showing off this year's winners in the canned goods contest that was judged Wednesday morning.
"I know they look at color, clarity, whether or not it's presented well. And in some cases, I think they open them up and taste them a little bit," said Murphree.
Murphree said at the Cullman County Fair, there are rides, but most people come out in hopes of a blue ribbon. He added that they spend all year growing the biggest and the best of everything.
"We have people that have been entering things into the fair for years, and this is our 56th year," said Murphree.
From a 146-pound watermelon, to a plate of perfectly round grapes, the agriculture exhibit hall houses the toughest competition.
Paula Grace from Corner entered chestnuts from a tree in her front yard. This is her first year of competing.
"Years before when we brought our children, I thought our chestnuts are much nicer than those, so I decided this year to bring them and see."
Hanceville's Suzanne Allred won a blue ribbon in the past for her flowers, but she's taking on produce this year by entering a variety of peppers, hoping for more chances at a prize ribbon.
She believes there's a secret to the perfect crop, "Good dirt. If you don't have good dirt, you might as well hang it up. So we put barn dirt, leaves, coffee grounds, egg shells and anything we find we put back to the garden and plow it back in."