Posted: Monday, Jun 27th, 2016

By Visit Ventura

Fair-Inspired Bucket List

by Visit Ventura

1. Win a prize for growing the largest tomato

Did you know Ventura County Fair runs entire competitions for the best tomatoes? Not just the overall best, but the best of 11 varieties including yellow, orange, heirloom, and cherry. Southern California is blessed with perfect tomato-growing weather! If you have tomato plants in your backyard, make sure to keep an eye out for big ones that just might be winners for largest tomato.

A photo posted by @the2.0life on

2. Enter a cowboy poem competition

You don’t need to be a cowboy to let the authenticity of Western life – ranching, animals, unspoiled land – inspire you. Write a poem, whether serious, inspirational, or humorous, of up to 36 lines and submit it for Ventura County Fair’s cowboy poetry competition.
A photo posted by deannaquintonlarson (@wildroseimages) on

3. Give street chalk art a try

You can do it anytime, anywhere, and be as creative as you choose. Nothing’s permanent so you don’t have to be afraid to make mistakes. Let the little chalk artist child in you re-explore the art of street chalk. Six lucky participants can also enter to take part in Ventura County Fair’s street chalk art contest on Monday, July 25, 2016. This will be an 8-hour timed event. Creativity encouraged!

A photo posted by Addison Kanoelani (@kanoelani_life) on

4. Get a bee box and gather your own honey

This latest trend is a fun hobby, reaps a tasty treat, and is great for our environment -urban beekeeping! Bee boxes are more and more widely available and gathering your own honey is easier than ever. If it’s already something you’re doing, bring it to Ventura County Fair’s honey and bee products contests for a chance to win!
A photo posted by Stupid Easy Paleo | Steph G (@stupideasypaleo) on

5. Make your own avocado ice cream

Homemade ice cream is always fun but with over 11 varieties of avocados featured at the Ventura County Fair, get inspired to make your own avocado ice cream! Hass, Pinkerton, Zutano, Mexican, Fuerte, or Bacon -each kind will bring a slightly different texture and a different degree of sweetness. Try it out and see which one’s your favorite.

A photo posted by pigparts (@pigpartsandbeer) on

6. Judge a “miscellaneous unusual character” produce competition

Yup, that’s really a thing! Categories include the largest sunflower, funny shaped lemon, largest beet, the longest ear of corn, largest apple, longest carrot, largest turnip and many more!
A photo posted by Nina Kutschera (@nina_kutschera) on

7. Go to Cattlemen’s Day at the fair

If cattle aren’t your thing, there’s also Citrus Showcase, Tomato Spotlight, Avocado Day, or Berry Day.

A photo posted by Brent (@newharmonycowboy) on

8. Win a Best Beer prize for your homebrew

The craft beer is making has lots of people giving the home-brewed beer a shot! Amber lagers, English Pale Ales, Porters and Stouts, Wheat and Rye Beer, Mead, Cider, or Perry- whatever your brew, put it up to the test at Ventura County Fair’s amateur beer contest. The Best Beer prize will be judged by aroma, appearance, flavor, mouthfeel, and overall appearance. Bragging rights included!
A photo posted by MadeWest Brewing Company ™ (@madewestbeer) on

9. Churn your own butter

Homemade butter alongside homemade bread or dinner rolls can be the icing on the cake. As early as ninth century BC, a Hindu etiquette manual suggests brides be given milk, honey, and butter on the day of their wedding -treat yourself to fresh, all-natural, homemade butter and see what makes it so special. Once it’s taste, texture, and appearance are prize-worthy, bring it down to Ventura County Fair’s homemade dairy products competition!

A photo posted by Clara Rose Silverman (@claraaarose) on

10. Make your own cheese

This rare skill is easier to learn than you think! Homemade cheese has the best ingredients, makes an inexpensive hobby, and best of all encourages us to think about food processes while staying in touch with farmers, cows, and the land. A large pot, a basic thermometer, cheesecloth, and a few cheese cultures will get you started on the right path. Soon, you’ll be ready to enter Ventura County Fair’s homemade cheese competition!
A photo posted by Михаил Папунаишвили (@m_papunaishvili) on

11. Bake the best dinner roll in the county

Do you have the blue ribbon recipe? Preheat your oven, fire up your competitive spirit, and enter King Arthur Flour’s adult baking contest at Ventura County Fair! This year’s bake-off will feature the fluffiest most delicious dinner rolls.

A photo posted by King Arthur Flour (@kingarthurflour) on

12. Bid on livestock at a silent auction

Each year, the livestock silent auction is one of Ventura County Fair’s most popular events! Fair-goers are invited to participate in a full day of bidding on some of Southern California’s finest livestock. From cows, pigs, lambs, and goats, to turkeys, rabbits, and chickens, this livestock are raised by youth from 4H, Grange, and FFA. Each year, the silent auction raises up to $1.6 million to support youth education and careers in agriculture.

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