Christina Overpeck, last year’s runner-up for Homemaker of the Year, spent the last three days baking.
She arrived at the Green Barn Sunday morning with her fair book heavily highlighted with all the classes she planned to enter Sunday, Aug. 19, in the 75th Annual Chelsea Community Fair. They included baked goods, vegetables, flowers, pictures, antiques, jellies, jams, and pages of canning items.
In fact, she said after finishing as the runner-up last year, she was even more determined to enter as many items as possible this year.
“I’m competitive. I take it seriously,” she said of entering the fair, while filling out tag after tag.
Last year, Overpeck said, she took home about $200 in premium money for her efforts, and the 29 year old has been exhibiting at the fair since she was 5 years old.
“I stay pretty busy through the year,” she said.
But, she’ll face some stiff competition with her canning entries. Superintendents Sue McCalla and Marge Schiller said they had to add a second table for all the jams, jellies, pickles, wines and canning entries.
“This is one of the top years,” they said. “We have to set up another table for canning; that’s a first.”
Patti and Morgan DeYoe are another mother and daughter team who entered their home-baked goods in the fair.
“It’s the first time I’ve done a cake,” she said, adding that she’d entered artwork before. “I’m getting gutsier, trying to be a Cake Boss, but I haven’t taken any classes or anything. I’m learning from the Internet and reading Wilton books.
Her daughter, Morgan, 10, entered a RIP cake and is vying for junior Homemaker of the Year.
Over in the agricultural area, mom and daughter. Debbie and Melissa Stapish were busy tagging and placing all the vegetables, crops, herbs and fruits on several long tables covered in white table clothes.
Melissa Stapish said she’s been volunteering at the fair since she was 6 years old. “I’m 32, now,” she said.
Debbie Stapish said that she expected this year’s hot and dry weather would translate into a lower ag entry this year.
“Last year, we had 30-some entries of soybeans,” and “so far, there are a lot less.”
She said even the very popular entries — cucumbers, tomatoes and peppers — were down this year. However, there were more unusual vegetables such as kohlrabi, she said, and a nice number of entries for the most artistic vegetable display category.
Debbie Stapish hopes that visitors to the fair this year will take a look at the ag entries and be inspired to try their hand at growing some vegetables for the 2013 fair.
“Even if they want to try different seeds; something they’ve never grown before, throw it in pots and give it a try,” she said.
The long-time superintendent suggested that community members “take it to the next level” and grow fruits or vegetables and then can them. “They can try jams, jellies, pickles, there are all sort of things.”