N.D. State Fair picks up blue ribbons

The North Dakota State Fair nabbed a number of awards last week at the 123rd annual International Association of Fairs and Expositions convention in Las Vegas, Nev., including 11 first-place prizes in the agricultural, competitive exhibits and communications categories.

“We’re very, very excited about it,” said Jennifer Hubrig, marketing director with the Fair. Though NDSF wins awards each year at the convention, she explained that the 29 first-, second-, and third-place awards are more than they usually receive.

For agriculture, NDSF won first prizes in the Overall Program for Commercial Ag Vendors and Agriculture Photo Series categories.

“The ag program is really near and dear to our hearts,” Hubrig said. Rides and games notwithstanding, the soul of the Fair is its agricultural displays, from the livestock exposition and shows to the commercial vendors located all across the grounds.

In advertising as well, NDSF took first in the categories of Black & White Newspaper Ad, Out of Home Advertising, Flyer Series, E-Newsletter, and Website.

For its competitive exhibits, NDSF received first prizes for the Participatory Contest, Unique Contest, Competitive Exhibit Display Photo and General Photo Display categories.

“We are very excited to be recognized for the emphasis and focus that we place on each of these departments. Our staff works very hard every year to provide the best for State Fair attendees,” said the State Fair’s manager, Renae Korslien, in a release.

Korslien and Hubrig were among the six employees of the Fair sent to represent it at this year’s convention, which affords a number of opportunities to meet other professionals in the industry and share ideas. There are also a number of seminars conventioneers can attend, on topics ranging from consumer protection and public safety to the latest advances in ticketing systems.

“We’re always looking at different things,” said Hubrig, and the IAFE convention is among the ways Fair staff keep abreast of the industry as they prepare for next year. “This time of year is really our planning stage.”

Entries for the awards were evaluated and judged by a panel selected from the membership of the IAFE. The awards will be put on display at the State Fair office at the NDSF Center.