Alaska State Fair Volunteering
Alaska State Fair volunteers make this annual exhibition of sewing in our community possible. From beginner sewing from juniors ages 12 and under to expert work by professionals and sewers of every level in between, the State Fair provides helpful feedback for each entrant and a beautiful display for the public.
Find more information about entries, judging, display, demonstrations and more below.
Friday, August 6 - Entry Intake
- 11am-3pm (2 people)
- 3pm-7pm (2 people)
Saturday, August 7 - Entry Intake
- 11am-3pm (2 people)
- 3pm-7pm (2 people)
Sunday, August 8 - Judging & Helpers
- 9:30am until judging is completed
- Everyone welcome - no experience needed!
– Sit & Sew volunteers are welcome during each day of the fair, August 20-September 6. Note that this year, the fair will be closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays
– Tables will be available for multiple volunteers
Tuesday, September 7 – Entry Pickup
– 1pm-6pm (2 people)
Saturday September 11 – Entry Pickup
– 1pm-6pm (2 people)
Entrants MUST have their entrant number – it stays with them for life. If they have NEVER entered before, they get a number from Hoskins Building. If they don’t remember their number, they can look it up in the book at the back door to the Irwin Building.
The Sewing Department is J. You and the entrant determine the DIVISION, CLASS, and SUB-CATEGORY of each item. See the Exhibitor's Guide here for detailed information
- Juniors have 2 sub-categories dependent on age. Note on entrant form either Junior, A or B, and then THEIR ACTUAL AGE.
- Professional is for anyone who sells their items, or teaches sewing.
- Open is for everyone else
- OTHER Class is used ONLY when there is no appropriate class for item, i.e.: hats go in hats – participants can’t enter 2 items by entering 1 in hats and 1 in Other
Entries should be clean and odor free when submitted.
Describe entry, and note if entrant brought own display piece, such as a hanger, stand. foam head, mannequin, etc.
Entrant MUST fill in bottom section. Forms not filled in will not be judged – this is so ribbon checks can be sent, and is Fair policy.
Entrant gets YELLOW copy. They MUST bring it with them to reclaim entry after Fair.
Form is then folded so name, etc. does not show, and pinned to entry, and entry placed in appropriate division section. This really helps with accuracy and speed when we judge!
Our volunteer judges use Alaska State Fair guidelines and rubrics to evaluate entries, provide constructive feedback to everyone who enters, and select ribbon winners and special awards.
There are Divisions in the Sewing Department.
- Under each Division are various Classes.
- Within each Class are 4 Categories.
- Each Category (age division) of each Class is judged separately, and ribbons are awarded for 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and Honorable Mention in each Category of each Class. (So, there could be 4 blue ribbons in each Class.)
- A Division Champion ribbon can be awarded for each of the Divisions.
In addition, Judges’ Choice ribbons can awarded as the judges see fit. One Best of Show ribbon is awarded by the Superintendent.
Each judging group will judge a complete DIVISION. You will receive items by CATEGORY within each CLASS from Judging Helpers. Each entered item will have an Entrant Form.
- The upper right corner shows that each line of the sheet gets either a 1 or a 0
- 1 - if the answer is Yes
- 0 - if the answer is No, or if the statement does not apply
- Creativity points are at the end of each section. This is where you reward for extras, special attention to technique, etc. Reward from 1 to 5 points, and put this number in the YES column. It is not necessary to reward points if not earned.
- Under each section on the form is Comment Space. PLEASE write something in each of these spaces. This is the feedback the entrants WANT. Please be positive.
- Total each YES column, and put that figure at the bottom of the form on the POINTS line.
- In GRAND TOTAL POINTS, put the total of both YES columns.
- When you have finished judging each CATEGORY in a CLASS, use TOTAL POINTS to determine ribbon awards. Circle ribbon color on each form. If no ribbon, DO NOT CIRCLE ANYTHING. There can be more than one Honorable Mention ribbon.
When judging of each CATEGORY is completed, fold judging forms in quarters so RIBBON CHOICE is showing, place in zip baggie with Entrant Form, back to back, so both are visible, and safety pin (at a corner of the bag so you don’t pin the bag shut) to back of entry with ENTRANT FORM facing out. Give item to helper, who will add ribbon and put entry in proper spot.
When finished judging a DIVISION, consider awarding a Division Champion ribbon, and a Judges Choice ribbon.
Judges’ Helpers will work with their assigned group of judges and a specific DIVISION, making sure that all items are delivered to judges in the proper order:
- All CATEGORIES in a class are delivered at the same time. This information is written on the ENTRANT FORM – check it carefully!
- All CATEGORIES in the next CLASS of the same DIVISION are then delivered, until the CLASS has been finished.
- Then judges’ helpers deliver, in the same order, entries from the next CLASS in the DIVISION, until the DIVISION is completed.
- Judges will then determine if Division Champion and Judges Choice ribbons will be awarded. Helpers will affix these ribbons appropriately.
When judging of each CATEGORY is completed, judges will fold the ASG judging form in quarters and place it in zip baggie with Entrant Form, back to back, so both are visible, and safety pin to back of entry.
Judges will give the items to the Helper, who will
- Remove white copy of Entrant Form and give to [TBA]
- Attach the appropriate ribbon
- Place the item in the correct part of the display by Division
After judging is completed, volunteers are also needed to display the wonderful entries and their ribbons.
Sit & Sew
As part of Alaska Sewlutions' mission of outreach and sharing sewing as an art and life skill, volunteers sew at the Sewing Department exhibition for the duration of the Fair. Any demonstrations of machine sewing, hand sewing, or other techniques are welcome! State Fair visitors ask lots of questions and love to see volunteers working on their projects.
Entry Pick Up
After the Fair, entries can be picked up from the Irwin Building, where volunteers ensure that entries go to the correct owner. Entrant MUST bring the yellow copy of their entry form for each piece with them to reclaim the entry after Fair.