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Fair gives kids a chance to flaunt their skills
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Joshua Kimball, 10, of Delhi proudly displays his Best in Show blue ribbon he received at the county fair on Monday. Kimball was excited to beat his mother in the family-fun competition. - photo by JONATHAN MCCORKELL / The Journal

Since he was old enough to walk and talk 10-year old Joshua Kimball of Delhi has submitted confectionary delights into the Stanislaus County Fair. This year is a special year for Joshua because this year he beat out his mother and earned a Best in Show for his trifecta of sunflower topped cupcakes.

Joshua’s father, David, said entering creations is a family tradition.

“We like it and it’s good for the kids. It encourages creative thinking, helps the kids establish goals and work towards them and it gives them something to look forward to. This is an incredible thrill for him to get the blue ribbon,” said David Kimball.

Joshua is not alone; this year nearly 2,000 children submitted their work for the fair. From fruits and veggies to mammoth pieces of art, Stanislaus County kids proved they’ve got tons of creativity and imagination.

According to Iris Anderson, the fair’s ag and home arts superintendent, submissions are up this year with 700 entries for arts and crafts, 200 cookies and 2,000 entries for vegetables. Also, there were hundreds of submissions for junior photography.

“These kids put in a lot of hard work, we’ve got a lot of talent in all ages from three years old to high school age,” said Anderson.

Community support for youth projects is apparent. Anderson said the exhibit hall is packed shoulder-to-shoulder most of the time.

Children’s entries are awarded on their own merit, not against each other’s work. Work is placed into three categories — first, second and third — and all entries receive a ribbon in whichever place they fall into. Overall “Best in Show” blue ribbons are also awarded in certain age groups and categories.

Parents like Jessica Hamada of Ceres enjoyed the opportunity for her child, Jordin, 4.

“It fosters a sense of pride and accomplishment. She was so excited to come and see her work,” said Jessica.

Some parents were surprised to see their children’s artistic ability come through. Mikala Price of Turlock was proud of her son Dylan Waldroup, 3.

“I didn’t know he had creative ability, it’s exciting to see this and I’m so proud of him,” she said.

On Monday the fair held a children’s cookie decorating contest and a coloring contest. The art contest was held for ages 4-6 and the winners were Violet Freeby, first place; Emily Mancilla, second; and Makayla Kimball, third place.

Cookie decorating winners were broken down into three age groups. First place winners included Violet Freeby in under 5; Ashton Patterson in grades K-2; and Faith Hernandez in grades 3-5.

To contact Jonathan McCorkell, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2015.