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August 07, 2015

New Gladiolus Arrangement and Poetry Competitions Come to the Great New York State Fair

Whether you’re a budding floral artist or skilled with the pen, now’s your chance to show your talent  at the Great New York State Fair! The first-ever Gladiolus Competition will take place at 11 a.m. Thursday, September 3 in the Horticulture Building and writers entered into the first Poetry Competition will read their winning works at 3 p.m. in the Empire Theater in the Arts and Home Center, announced Acting Fair Director Troy Waffner. These two new competitions will add to the more than 70 competitions the Fair presents yearly.

“Our goal is to always continue improving the quality of entertainment we present at the Fair and give fairgoers new activities to enjoy and participate in every year.  This year, we’re adding two new competitions that we think people will be really excited about and that will draw a great crowd of spectators and supporters,” said Waffner.

The Gladiolus Competition is presented by the Empire State Gladiolus Society and is designed to show how easy it is to arrange a vase of gladiolus flowers for the home or office. Competitors will put together an arrangement of gladiolus flowers in less than ten minutes, with the audience voting on the most attractive vase.  Members of the Empire State Gladiolus Society will be present, giving tips and coaching participants on how to improve their vases.  Sign-up for the competition is between 10 and 10:30 a.m. on September 3 near the flower office in the Horticulture Building. Supplies will be provided.

Also new this year, Poetry Competition entries have been accepted in both adult and youth categories and will be judged before the start of the Fair. Ribbons as well as cash prizes will be awarded for first ($100 adult, $50 youth), second ($75 adult, $25 youth) and third ($50 adult, $15 youth) place winners. All selected poems will be on display in the Arts and Home Building throughout the 12 days of the Fair.  In addition, the winners of the youth and adult categories will read their poems in the Empire Theater in the Art and Home Center, where a best in show award will be given to the best overall work along with a cash prize of $125. The judging will be based on artistic work, concise and accurate use of language, and encapsulation of ideas and emotions in a minimum number of words. The competition’s judges are M. J. Iuppa, author of “As The Crow Flies” and Director of the Visual and Performing Arts Minor Program at St. John Fisher College, and G. E. Schwartz, author of “ONLY OTHERS ARE: POEMS, WORLD and THINKING IN TONGUES.”

“If a pie or a quilt or a painting or a floral arrangement can win a blue ribbon at the Great New York State Fair, why not a poem with its special way to touch us, inspiring us with its expression?” said G. E. Schwartz, Poetry Competition Judge.

There are more than 70 competitions taking place during the Fair this year, with thousands of participants entering in a full range of categories including arts and crafts, cooking, cattle, agriculture and more. From plus-sized produce to blue-ribbon rabbits to antique automobiles, the Fair hosts competitions for nearly every interest and age group.

The New York State Fair, operated by the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, runs from August 27 to September 7, 2015.  The Fair’s mission, reflected in its theme, “Summer’s Best in Show,” is to showcase the best of New York agriculture while providing top-quality entertainment. 

In addition to the annual New York State Fair, the Fairgrounds host dozens of agricultural events throughout the year, including some of the Northeast’s most prestigious horse and livestock shows.

The home of the Great New York State Fair is a 375-acre exhibit and entertainment complex that operates all year. A year-round schedule of events is available on the Fair’s website.  Find The Great New York State Fair on Facebook, follow @NYSFair on Twitter, and enjoy photos from the Fair at Also, New Yorkers are invited to send their ideas for the Great New York State Fair at

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