I won first place at the Topsfield Fair (MA) dahlia show, classification 12 stems and under... that's the good news. The bad news is that I was the only exhibitor in that category.. that's exalted me, alright!!!
There was one exhibitor in the 20+ stem class, and one for the 40+ stem class. We all won 1sts! There are 2 or 3 dahlia-specific fair prizes, but either I didn't win or they haven't awarded them yet. I very nearly didn't enter at all. It's been cold (40s at night) so my blooms aren't opening, and are small when they do. I literally had only 12 blooms. At least the chilly snap has them lasting longer. I've got another flush of buds about to open & I can go in and swap blossoms out before the w/e rush of fairgoers.
PLUS I won 2nd place in the AA single blossom class! Whoo-hoo!! Especially since this was a replacement tuber from Red Hawk: 'Hollyhill Six-In-One.
My acceptance speech: I've been negative about certain dahlia suppliers, so I want to express my LOVE to Swan Island, Red Hawk, and Lynch Creek. You guys ROCK! (Please stock more waterlilys, LC, you run out fast). I wish Red Hawk had an email so I could let that "grouchy old guy" (his description) let him know his tubers won prizes.
Great - Congrats on your winnings. Pretty display of dahlia and pretty dahlias.
Horticulture is my favorite for fair entries. I, too like to enter horticulture in the local fair, and like you said - sometimes my entry in that class may be the only entry.