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Tradition strong on Lake County Fair preview night

Participants open class judging packed Family Arts   Crafts Building Thursday for preview night open house 162nd annual Lake

Participants in the open class judging packed the Family Arts & Crafts Building Thursday for the preview night open house at the 162nd annual Lake County Fair. | Carrie Napoleon/For Sun-Times Media Sent from Yahoo Mail on Android

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Updated: September 2, 2014 9:42AM



CROWN POINT — Judy Davis, of Crown Point, has been coming to the Lake County Fair’s preview night open house for more than 40 years.

“This is the best part of the fair. It’s so traditional,” she said.

The open house takes place on the first night that the midway is open to the public and is the private celebration for participants in the open-class judging, which includes entries ranging from baked goods to photography.

It’s the first chance for those who submit entries to see if they were awarded a first-, second- or third-place ribbon or an honorable mention. The event also includes samplings of the baked goods that were submitted for judging.

Davis said that when the county fair first started, people came for the crafts, the food and the animals. The exhibits that visitors to the fair will find in the Family Arts and Crafts Building hold on to that tradition.

“It’s not the midway that keeps the fair going, it’s the people,” Davis said.

Elisa Smith, 9, and her grandmother Barbara Bragg, both of Schererville, were among the 839 exhibitors who submitted a combined 3,944 entries at this year’s fair. Elisa has been working for months on a variety of projects, including a Lego diorama, jewelry, a hand-sewn purse, photography and ceramics.

“I really think it’s important to be creative and share,” said Bragg, who took a first-place ribbon for her homemade blueberry jam.

She said her grandchildren have “fair fever” and look forward to participating and attending.

Elisa said she participates in the fair to see how her work is graded and to win the ribbons.

“It’s awesome,” she said.

Brother and sister Jacob Hornak, 9, and Maya Strong, 11, of Hammond, also entered in a number of categories and were excitedly checking out how they fared. Maya took first, second, third and honorable mention ribbons in the categories she entered.

“I do it because it’s fun. I like to show everybody my art,” she said.

Jacob, too, enjoys showing off his work and this year earned his first blue ribbon.

“I feel awesome,” he said.



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