DC State Fair 2016 - Pickled Foods Contest Entry Form
Welcome and thank you for your interest in the D.C. State Fair Pickled Foods Contest! The D.C. State Fair will be held on Sunday, August 28, 2016, at NoMa Junction at Storey Park, 1005 First Street N.E. (near the NOMA-Gallaudet U Metro station).

REGISTRATION IS NOW CLOSED. However, you can register on-site between 11am and 12pm on the day of the fair. You can submit two pickled food entries. The same rules and guidelines apply so please read the instructions carefully below.

You may register up to two entries in the contest’s three subcategories:

Best Cucumber
Best Vegetable (Non-Cucumber)
and Best Fruit


Who is eligible? What are the eligibility rules?

-The contest is open to District of Columbia residents of all ages
-You may register up to two entries.
-Contestants must bring their entry to the D.C. State Fair for judging.

Entry forms MUST BE submitted by midnight on Wednesday, August 24. Due to logistical constrictions, registration will close early if 50 entries are registered before the deadline.


For safety reasons, please follow these rules or your entry will not be accepted:

1. Your entry must be properly processed and sealed according to accepted safe-canning procedures. Entries should be based on recipes from trusted published sources, such as the Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving or the USDA Complete Guide to Home Canning. Helpful websites on canning are available at http://www.uga.edu/nchfp, http://www.freshpreserving.com/getting-started, or http://www.uga.edu/nchfp/publications/publications_usda.html.

2. Entry forms must include the source of the recipe and the complete recipe, including the processing method and time, the type and amount of vinegar used, and the size of the jar.

3. All entries must be exhibited in clear glass, standard home-canning jars in half-pint (8 oz.), pint (16 oz.), or quart (32 oz.) size. Products in fluted or blue-tinted jars will not be accepted. Use self-sealing jars only with two-piece metal canning lids (flat lid and band).

4. The lid (not the glass) must be labeled with the product name and the date processed. Do NOT place your name on the label, as entries will be numbered for anonymous judging.

5. All jars must be clean and have lids and bands free from mold and rust.

6. All entries must have been processed after September 30, 2015. (No entries should have been canned before September 30, 2015.)

7. All entries must be shelf-stable. Entries preserved in alcohol, entries that require refrigeration, fermented foods, unsealed jars, entries canned with paraffin, and entries that show signs of spoilage will not be accepted.


Judges at the D.C. State Fair’s Pickled Foods Contest will follow the current safety recommendation of the National Center for Home Food Preservation and rate entries on characteristics other than taste. The following scoring method will be used:

1. Container (10 points): Lid neatly labeled with name of product and processing date. Vacuum-sealed. Clean, clear glass standard home-canning jar of appropriate size for product and process. Matching lid and band, clean and free of rust. Band unbent and easily removed.

2. Pack (30 points): Jar filled to appropriate headspace (1/2 inch). Proper balance of solids and liquids, neatly packed. Liquid covers all solids. No floating pieces. Food pieces evenly distributed throughout jar. No vertical or horizontal layering (“fancy pack”). Spices and seasonings attractive in pack.

3. Liquid (20 points): Clear with no unnatural cloudiness. Free of bubbles, sediment, mold, and foreign matter (stems, cores etc.).

4. Color (20 points): Even color characteristic of cooked product. No artificial coloring except for a few specialty cucumber or apple-ring pickles. Color and translucency uniform throughout the jar. Free of discoloration or blemishes on food pieces.

5. Texture/Consistency (20 points): Pieces appear plump, not shriveled or shrunken. No internal holes in pickles. Firm for pickles. Softer for some relishes and chutneys. Food pieces evenly sliced or chopped attractively, not too fine in relishes. Pleasing aroma appropriate for product; no indication of spoilage. Spices and seasonings not overwhelming.



You are a food professional including a licensed baker/caterer; prepare food in a restaurant, bakery, carryout, grocery, deli, cafeteria, food truck, or anyplace where food is prepared and sold; own a food making/baking business; or a professional food writer who writes recipes for pay.


You can drop off your pickles at Storey Park NOMA Junction on August 28 beginning at 11a.m.

The Judging will go from 4:30-5:30 p.m. Winners will be announced concluding the contest so please stick around!

Please fill out the information below to enter the D.C. State Fair Pickled Foods Contest.

Thank you for entering and good luck!

First and last name
Your answer
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Describe your entry
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Name your entry
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