Now is the time for residents planning to enter exhibits into a Tri-County Fair contest to begin preparing their homemade, homegrown and handcrafted items.
Fair organizers recently released 1,500 copies of the Exhibitor’s Guidebook, which outlines the deadlines, rules and regulations for each of the hundreds of exhibitor contest categories.
The guidebooks are available at a number of local merchants, including Ben Franklin’s and Wye Road Feed and Supply in Bishop.
Fair organizers are encouraging everyone who has Internet access to visit www.tricountyfair.com  to download a copy of the guidebook and save hard copies for those who are unable to download the content.
“This year we printed 1,500, so there will be a lot out there, but that’s less than last year. I think we printed about 2,000 last year,” a Fair representative said Thursday. “It just costs so much to make these books. We’re hoping anyone who has problems downloading them will give us a call. We’ll help them out any way we can.”
Those who are planning to enter one of the many fair contests have from Aug. 15 to Aug. 20 to submit their entries.
In keeping with this year’s theme, “Happy Days are Yours and Mine at the Tri-County Fair,” a celebration of the popular television sitcom, Fair officials are making a few changes to traditional contests.
Rather than the annual barbecue contest, this year organizers are asking local culinary wizards to go old school in the first-ever meatloaf contest on Friday, Sept. 2.
The chef’s challenge this year will be managed similar to the popular cookie and pie contests. Rather than bringing their barbecue and grilling up their entrée before the judge’s eyes, participating cooks will be required to prepare their meatloaf at home and bring it to the fairgrounds for the contest.
Fair organizers also opted out of a country-western concert they have hosted the past several years and will be bringing classic rock band Blue Öyster Cult to the Mike Boothe Memorial Arena Friday, Sept. 2 at 4 p.m.
This year residents are being asked to bake their best apple pie for the Homemade Pie contest at 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 4.
In addition to the pies, meatloafs and cookies, residents can participate in literally hundreds of other contests – vying for biggest vegetables, best place settings, best photography and best collections.
“We truly believe that competitive exhibits are the most important part of our fair,” the Fair website states. “Each year, thousands of homemade and homegrown items are entered and displayed at the Fair.”
All citizens of Inyo, Mono and Alpine counties are eligible to compete for ribbons, trophies, cash and other prizes.
There are divisions for adults and kids of all ages and all skill levels.
For more information, call the Tri-County Fairgrounds at (760) 873-3588, or visit www.tricountyfair.com .