Skip to toolbar

Introduction to Entering the County Fair


If you are new to 4-H, you might not know about the Alameda County Fair, and the opportunities it affords for entering projects and winning prizes. There are categories for 4-H members, ages 5-18, along with contests that happen during the fair. It can be overwhelming to look on the County Fair page and try to figure out what it all means! So I thought I'd list some possibilities and share our experiences.

Important: the deadline for the online registration of your entries is April 25th for most categories! However, the actual projects are mostly not due at the fair until May or June, so there's still time to make an entry, you just need to register by next week.

What do I mean by entries?

If you've ever been to the fair, there is a Young Californian Building where you will see a wide variety of entries by 4-H members from all over Alameda County. Photos, original art, wood-working projects, models, fiber arts, written stories, educational posters, food items (jams and jellies are popular), and more than I can list. There is the Table Setting entry, where members come up with a table setting to fit a particular theme (like Harry Potter, or Dr. Seuss, etc.).

General categories:

  • Fiber Arts: includes Needlework, Quilting, Machine Sewing
  • Fine Arts - Creative Writing, Painting & Drawing, Printed Photography, Non Printed Photography, Photo Journalism
  • Baked Foods
  • Decorated Foods - cupcakes, cakes
  • Preserved Foods - jams, pickles, more
  • Table Settings
  • Arts & Crafts -Ceramics, Collage/Assemblage, Fair Themed Craft, Holiday Craft, Jewelry
  • Pinewood Derby Cars
  • Scrapbooking & Paper Crafts -
  • Woodworking
  • Computer Science -Video/Film, computer Based Animation, website, design, etc.
  • Miscellaneous Exhibits -exhibits emphasizing activity & learning, Entomology/Environmental Education/Science & Technology and others (these are usually educational posters).
  • Rockets & Aviation

Special Craft Competitions - there's a lot, and some of them sound so fun!

Bling Something!
Crafting Trends
Decorate a Tree
Duct Tape Art
Egg Carton Craft
Fair Theme Poster
Hand/Foot Print Art
Literature Based Art
Loom Art
Mystery Craft
Paper Plate Art
Perler Bead Art
Pinterest Patriotic Craft
Pipe Cleaner Craft
Recycle It!
Repurpose It!
Shoebox Float

Fair Time Baking Contests

Cheesecake Contest
Guittard Chocolate Contest
Cupcake Contest
Honey, It’s a Dessert Contest
Cupcake Decorating Contest
My Family’s Favorite Cookie Contest
Dad’s Favorite Dessert Contest
My Family’s Favorite Pie Contest

Special Baking Competitions

Classic Treats Made From Scratch
King Arthur Flour
Mix It Up! Tricks with a Mix
Mystery Cookie
S’mores No More

Special Contests (happen during Fair)

Cell Phone Photo Scavenger Hunt
Lego Building Contest

What to do next

So, if I piqued your interest, the next step is to look through the Fair Guide for more information about the different categories and contests. There is a LOT of information, but if you have any questions, just ask!
Download it here: 2018_Alameda_County_Fair__Youth_Stills_Complete_Guide

Or look on the website to read about the categories online:

To share an example of what Luke will be entering:
1. A piece of digital art made on his iPad and printed out (this is under "Graphic art or Other" for the Drawing and Painting Category)
2. An educational poster about the activities we do for our community Makerspace (this would be the Miscellaneous Exhibits)
3. And possibly something for the Duct Tape Art category under Special Crafts Competitions. Fun!