The DC State Fair is an agricultural, culinary, and artistic showcase of the District. Our main event takes place each August or September with a full day of competitions and other fun and educational activities. You can join us for other events throughout the year, as well.
How did this come about? DC is home to gardeners, cooks, bakers, photographers, artists–and yet we didn’t have a state fair to celebrate the home-grown talents of the District. In 2010, that all changed: The first-ever DC State Fair was held on August 28 of that year at the Columbia Heights Day festival. The Fair later was held at the Barracks Row Fall Festival.
DC State Fair is returning this year for another celebration of DC community talent! Sign up to get the latest news, contest rules, and volunteer opportunities.
DC State Fair is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization.
The DC State Fair Board of Directors
Torrance E. Anderson
Torrance E. Anderson has a 25-year background in fine food and service. He is a lifelong resident of the DMV. His passion for cooking, baking, and hospitality has made him a mentor to many in his professional and personal networks. Torrance has traveled extensively around the world and he practices Nichiren Buddhism and Bikram Yoga. Torrance is a consultant for a culinary think tank, and he bakes professionally at Union Kitchen in NoMA. He lives in Foxhall Village in NW where he enjoys grilling and entertaining for family and friends.
A fourth generation native of the area, Eric Firnhaber has been passionate about every aspect of food for over a decade. From experiments with permaculture and aquaponics, organic farming in both urban and rural settings, to made-from-scratch culinary endeavors (as long as it’s spicy), he now works in communications for an international agricultural development agency on market development projects around the world. With his experience on both sides of a farmer’s market, Eric is excited to help showcase DC’s diverse, homegrown talent.
A resident of the District since 2003, Rhea Yablon Kennedy has indulged her passion for food by working as a cook and private chef, growing vegetables, and writing about food for regional and national publications. In addition to working with the DC State Fair, she serves on the board of the Crossroads Farmers Market and Hillel at Gallaudet University. Kennedy teaches English and general studies at Gallaudet, where she developed a course on sustainable food in D.C. She has a plot at the Blair Road Community Garden. Find her thoughts on writing at rheakennedy.com.
[Bio coming soon]
Julie Moeller loves the DC State Fair, especially after walking home from the 2010 event with the Blue Ribbon for best pie. A Chicago native, Julie arrived in DC almost 20 years ago to work on Capitol Hill. Neither she, nor the rural Massachusetts native she met here, thought they would live in the area long. Both quickly fell in love with all the area has to offer and are proud Washingtonians – along with their three terrific kids. Until recently, Julie served a national nonprofit as a VP of government affairs. She left her full-time position to attend to young children and work as a consultant. She and her husband tend bees, harvest veggies from a community garden on Capitol Hill, and keep a square-foot garden in a back alley plot. Long train commutes to New Jersey for work drove Julie to learn knitting, and she’s recently taken up sewing. Julie is a self-taught baker who shows affection through food – and she is lucky to have many friends to feed.
[Bio coming soon]
Kim moved into the District in 2011 from Alexandria where she lived for 23 years. In Alexandria, she served on the planning committee for Art on the Avenue, the city’s largest, one-day art and music festival. Kim is currently employed by Cultural Tourism DC. She was previously the Director of Operations for Northern Virginia AIDS Ministry (NOVAM). Growing up in Western New York, Kim loved attending the Erie County Fair every year. The State Fair offers her the opportunity to put years of volunteer and nonprofit management to good use.
Amelia Showalter is a board member and original co-founder of the DC State Fair. In 2009 when Amelia went all the way out to the Virginia suburbs to enter her homegrown tomatoes in a contest, she blogged about how D.C. needed a fair of its own. She and two other bloggers launched the first DC State Fair in 2010. Amelia loves gardening at the Newark Street Community Garden and shopping at the Dupont Circle Farmer’s Market. She is the former Director of Digital Analytics at President Obama’s re-election campaign, and now works as a freelance political consultant. She has lived in D.C. off and on for eight years.
As the National Restaurant Association’s manager of digital innovation, Anna Tauzin leads digital strategy development, business and entrepreneurial products, and start-up business development. Her interests include how restaurateurs and businesses engage with customers in new, innovative ways, including via social media and mobile applications. In particular, she loves learning about new start-ups in the restaurant tech space. Previously, Anna was the web and social media editor for J-Lab, a nonprofit journalism research center in Washington, D.C.
Anna serves on the advisory board for SXSW Interactive, a huge conference focused on emerging technology, and is an active volunteer for Miriam’s Kitchen. Additionally, she is active in the restaurant technology communities.
(updated March 2014)