The dates for this year’s Beltrami County Fair are Aug. 11 to Aug. 15, and people are excited about participating in the fair after it was canceled in 2020.

All the horticultural action takes place in the east wing of the commercial building on the fairgrounds north of Bemidji at 7223 Fairgrounds Rd. NE. There is no charge to get in on entry day, Aug. 11. You need not be a county resident to enter open class horticultural exhibits; and in the floral arrangement category, purchased flowers may be used. In all other areas, plants, flowers and vegetables must be grown by the exhibitor. Cash prizes are awarded for winning entries.

Descriptions and specifics on entry requirements are listed in the Premium Guide that is available at beltramicountyfair.org. Go to Departments F, G, H and J to find all the categories as well as instructions for pre-registering your planned entries.

If you prefer to register on entry day, print the form and list your entries in easy-to-read form so that entry personnel can read and enter your categories electronically. Include the department, class, lot numbers as well as a brief description.

Organizing your entries facilitates the entry process. If you do not have access to a computer, call the Beltrami County Extension Office at (218) 444-8169 to get information regarding a printed copy of the Premium Guide.

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Again this year, the Master Gardeners and the Bemidji Garden Club will be managing the horticulture exhibit area. We are available for taking entries on Wednesday, Aug. 11 between the hours of noon and 7 p.m. Exhibitors with a large number of exhibits are encouraged to arrive early to avoid congestion.

It is beneficial to all entrants and fair staff when entries are pre-registered. Entries presented after 7 p.m. will not be accepted. Our superintendent of the horticulture area is Master Gardener Amber Bury. She can be reached at (218) 760-1422 or amber.bury1@gmail.com if you have questions.

We want to thank those who contribute by sponsoring special awards for horticulture entries judged best. As in the past, these awards are chosen by the judges in each category. They are displayed on a special table and represent the best specimens Beltrami gardeners have grown and prepared for display.

The theme for arrangements this year is “Superheroes." All entries should reflect this theme. While we may think of Superman, Batman and Captain America, one of my superheroes is St. Francis of Assisi, Patron Saint of the Environment. You can choose your personal superhero and make the choice work in your arrangement. The scarecrow you create should also illustrate any superhero. This exhibit should consist of a life-size creation. It must be able to sit or stand on its own.

All specimens entered should be clean, groomed for dead leaves, as well as being disease and insect free. Vegetables should be clean but not scrubbed. Specimens should be in clear glass containers. Follow the guidelines for display. Some categories call for one specimen, some three, some a small bunch. If you include more stems than the guidelines call for, your exhibit is automatically disqualified.

Every year we are pleasantly surprised with beautiful horticultural specimens. We welcome people to view the exhibits after judges complete their work on Thursday; times may vary depending on the number to exhibits to be judged.

Good luck to all entrants. We look forward to seeing old friends and new displayers in 2021.

These local garden articles will reach you each week throughout the gardening season, but gardening information can be found year-round by clicking on "Yard and Garden” at the University of Minnesota Extension website, www.extension.umn.edu, or by visiting our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/Beltramicountymastergardeners.

Local Master Gardeners will respond to questions via voicemail. Call (218) 444-7916, and leave your name, number and question.