New this year – Agriculture, Food, and Craft Demos!

For the first year ever, the DC State Fair will have demonstrations running throughout the day and we want to know what YOU would like to learn about.

Each demonstration will last approximately 25 minutes and may involve audience participation, including sampling food. All demonstrations will be free of charge. Please let us know what you’d like to learn about by taking a few minutes to complete our short survey. We will ask you to choose your five favorite workshop/demo topics. The options are listed below, but please CLICK HERE to complete the survey.

  • Baking Demonstration (w/ King Arthur)
  • Container Gardening for Your Deck/Balcony – any season (e.g, w/ the Neighborhood Farm Initiative-NFI)
  • Cooking Demo (e.g., how to prepare risotto w/ Chef Matt Finarelli)
  • Drying and Using Herbs to Spice up Dishes and Teas
  • Easy Food Preparation Demo (e.g., sweet corn tomato gazpacho w/ Jonathan Bardzik, “At the Market”)
  • Fall Gardening/Winterizing Your Garden (w/NFI)
  • Farm Animal Lexicon and Importance of Heritage Breeds
  • Fundamentals of Knitting
  • Fundamentals of Organic Gardening
  • Fun Felting
  • Growing and Sampling Healthy Microgreens (w/local producer)
  • Growing Traditional Ethnic Crops and Why This is Important (w/UDC)
  • Making Simple, Fresh Cheese (w/ Kevin Miller, the Big Cheese at District Cheese)
  • Making Kraut (w/ local producer)
  • Making Kimchee (w/ local producer)
  • Making Kombucha (w/ local producer)
  • Making Pickles (w/ local producer)
  • Making Soap at Home (w/ local producer)
  • Making and Using Compost Tea
  • Making Mumbo Sauce
  • Preparing Stinging Nettles to Help w/Allergies
  • Raising and Enjoying a Small Flock of Chickens
  • Responsible Urban Beekeeping
  • Saving Seeds and Why this is Important (w/ Sophia Maravell from Nick’s Organic Farm)
  • Selecting and Preparing Food Without a Recipe (w/ Neighborhood Farm Initiative – NFI)
  • Taking Great Nature Photos
  • Urban Foraging – Identifying and Picking Nourishing Wild Plants and Herbs



DCSF’s First Ever Pet Parade

2015 Pet Parade RouteBring your friendly pet on a leash, or in a cage, tank, or aquarium to the DC State Fair for the First Annual DC Pet Parade! Costumes (for you and your pet) are encouraged, but not required.

The parade will start on September 12, 2015 at 12:30pm. All DC Pet Parade participants should gather at the Shaw Dog Park (at 11th and R St NW) by noon to check in. The parade route will go up 11th St to R St NW, right on R St NW to 9th St NW, and right on Rhode Island Ave NW to the DC State Fair grounds at Old City Farm and Guild! All contest participants will gather on the DC State Fair grounds for final judging and to receive their prizes.

Leading the way as the Marshall on the parade route will be a CELEBRITY PET—stay tuned for more details.

To participate, register here with your name, the name of your animal, and the type of animal (cat, dog, hermit crab, etc.). There is no fee to register, and you can also register the day of the Fair at the starting line.

Everyone who participates in the Pet Parade will get a commemorative ribbon. There will also be contests with prizes for:

  • Pet/owner look-alike (non-costume)
  • Pet/owner look-alike (costume)
  • Best costume (animal only)

Don’t have a pet, or have space in your house and heart for more? The Washington DC Humane Society will be on site with lovable critters you can meet and adopt.

Register for the Pet Parade now!

After the parade, you are invited to stay and participate in Fair and/or beer garden. Learn more about the 2015 DC State Fair contests and schedule.

Best Buds

It’s true! For the first time ever, we’re hosting a new contest for local cannabis growers to show off their plants’ finest buds.


In February, the D.C. City Council voted for marijuana to be a legal intoxicant inside the city. District residents are allowed to grow up to six plants within their primary residence. Now that it’s legal, we wanted a way to highlight this new freedom while also showing off the agricultural talents of the District’s people.

Additionally, the other contests are just as important as this one. We still have many other agricultural contests that participants may enter, including longest and heaviest vegetables, pickled foods, tastiest tomato, and so many others. This is just another example of how urban farming has been reinvigorated in our city.


We don’t have a list of judges right now, but Adam Eidinger, a local businessman and activist, and Mark Perry, a DC organic landscaper and gardener, have been reaching out to local experts. The judges will test the quality of the marijuana for lots of criteria, which you can find on the application form. No one, including judges and fairgoers, will be smoking or ingesting the buds.


The D.C. State Fair is not an advocacy organization for marijuana usage rights, and we are doing our best to keep this contest within the boundaries of regulation and law. Showing lawmakers and law enforcement that the DC State Fair and D.C. citizens can be responsible and still exercise our rights is very important to us.

Only residents of D.C. are allowed to enter – please do not attempt to transport your plant or buds across neighboring state lines.


For press inquiries, please email Anna Tauzin, our outreach director.

For contest questions, please reach out to Wendy Caron, our contests coordinator.

Press Coverage

D.C.’s State Fair will have a marijuana growing competition this year – Washington Post

Washington DC State Fair Has an Interesting New Attraction This Year—And It May Come as a Surprise – IJReview

DC State Fair To Feature Pot Growing Competition – Daily Caller

Competing Buds in Our Nation’s Capital – East Bay Express

D.C. State Fair to host a marijuana growing competition – WGN TV

D.C. State Fair to feature first-ever marijuana growing competition – WJLA ABC 7

The D.C. State Fair will have a ‘Best Bud’ marijuana competition – Mashable

D.C. State Fair adds marijuana growing contest – Washington Times

Marijuana Growing Competition Added to D.C. State Fair – High Times

D.C. State Fair to Include ‘Best Bud’ Cannabis Contest – WNEW CBS

Poster Winner

We have a winner! After combing through many wonderful entries, the board voted and decided on the following three for our 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners. Our 1st place winner, Tracie Ching, will have her poster featured in some of our marketing efforts as well as be the focus of an upcoming blog post here on our website.

Join us September 12 for the DC State Fair as we recognize these three designers with their appropriate ribbons!


1st place

Tracie Ching – 1st Place


2nd place DC state fair poster design

Susie Cambria – 2nd Place


3rd place poster design

Liz Caselli-Mechael – 3rd Place

Kids Art and Poetry Contest

First Place in the 2015 Kids' Art Contest.

First Place in the 2015 Kids’ Art Contest.

Thank you for your interest in the Kids’ Art and Poetry Contests! Read the contest guidelines below. This contest entry is a bit different from the others: To fill out an entry form and to turn in your artwork or poem, visit the Shaw Neighborhood Library (1630 7th St. NW) before the contest deadline.

DC State Fair is proud to host the 2015 Kids Art and Poetry Contests. All kids who live in the city of Washington DC and are entering prekindergarten through 9th grade are eligible to enter. The entry form must be filled out by a parent or guardian of the kid entering the contest.

The artwork can be in any form that the artist deems necessary. Paintings, drawings, dioramas, poems etc. are all welcome. Remember that there is no need to buy any special art supplies!

2015 Kids Art and Poetry Contest Guidelines

  1. Arts and Crafts can be 2 or 3 dimensional.
  2. Contest winners will be judged on:
    1. Creativity (40%)
    2. Originality (40%)
    3. Composition (20%)
  3. Kids may enter no more than one piece of art and one poem.

The entry must be dropped off at Shaw Neighborhood Library (1630 7th St. NW) on or before September 6th at 5pm.

More info:
DC State Fair will be held on Saturday, September 12, at Old City Farm and Guild (925 Rhode Island Ave NW) near Shaw metro.

Watha T. Daniel/Shaw Neighborhood Library will be hosting a Sunday Art Day at 2-3pm on August 23rd, August 30th, and September 6 for kids interested in working on their artwork or poem at the library. We will supply crayons, markers, paper, scissors and colored pencils but you need to bring any specific materials that you’d like to include in your artwork.

The judging schedule will be available at in early September. Please pick up your entry after judging if possible. We ask that winning entries be on display until Fair closing at 8p.m., when they can be claimed if you agree to display your Kids’ entry.

There will be a prize for each age group and the winners may be displayed on the DC State Fair website as well as other Fair-related venues. All entries not picked up by the end of the event will become the property of the DC State Fair.

Design the Fair Poster!

Calling all artists, professional or hobbyists! For the first year ever, we’re having a poster design contest!

  1. Entries are open to DC residents only of all ages. Deadline to submit your design is June 8, 2015 June 15, 2015. There is no set theme, but we do like to highlight the communal, artistic, and gardening spirit that has guided the DC State Fair so far.

As a prize for the contest, the 1st place winner’s design will be used for some of our marketing efforts for this year’s Fair. Additionally, we will write and promote an article about the artist. Ribbons will be given at the DC State Fair for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners.

Some guidelines:

  • Original work only – please make sure your images and photos are copyright free
  • Limit your submission size to 11″ by 17″

Don’t forget to include the following details:

  • September 12, 2015
  • 12 PM – 8 PM
  • 925 Rhode Island Ave NW
  • Our logo: download here
  • Contests (you don’t have to fit them all)


It’s Seedling Swappin’ Time

14187416789_fdf9e33413_zWhether you’ve got lettuce and tomatoes, chard or okra…you name it, you can swap it! It’s finally warming up in the District, and for us, that means it’s seedling swappin’ time!

If you have extra seedlings this year – or want to add variety to your garden – come out to the DC State Fair’s annual seedling swap on May 9th from 10am to 12pm at Old City Farm and Guild (925 Rhode Island Ave NW). The event is free and registration is not required. Just bring your seedlings and be prepared to trade them in for new varieties.

Don’t have extra seedlings to swap? No problem. You can stop by and grab any additional seedlings left un-swapped or buy seedlings from Old City Farm and Guild.

We look forward to seeing you at the Seedling Swap!

Click HERE to view photos from last year’s Seedling Swap.

Join us at Eastern Market on April 25th


We’ll be right behind Frager’s Lawn and Garden, near 7th & C

It’s never too early to start thinking about the DC State Fair! To get the word out to home growers, bakers, brewers, and Fair-lovers, we’ll have a table set up at Eastern Market on Saturday, April 25, from 9:00 am. to 4:00 pm.

Come show the Fair some love!

Stop by to pick up free seeds for your garden or use them to grow seedlings to exchange at our upcoming Seedling Swap.

We’ll also be hosting a composting demo at 2:30 pm. Even urban gardeners with limited space can adopt these easy techniques to enrich garden soil while reducing food waste.

There’ll also be DC State Fair merchandise for sale, flyers you can pick up to share with friends and neighbors, and the opportunity to give us your input on what you’d like to see at this year’s Fair.

We will see you there!

Join DC State Fair Board of Directors

Board members Anna and  Torrance having a blast at the 2014 Fair.

Board members Anna and Torrance having a blast at the 2014 Fair.

We are seeking two new members of DC State Fair’s Board of Directors.

If you have experience with nonprofit management, event planning, organizational development, website development, or deep roots in the District, a community development and engagement background, or just a passion to bring agricultural, culinary, and arts education to the community to develop and encourage neighborly showcasing of talent and competition, then we want you to apply (application info below).

About DC State Fair

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 to showcase the talents of DC’s residents. We are looking forward to making the 2015 Fair the best yet!

DC State Fair is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization.


The following duties are the responsibility of the leaders of DC State Fair and may be performed primarily by Board members: Direct the efforts of the various committees (Volunteer, Contests, Events, Community Outreach, Development Committees and Subcommittees [Board members are encouraged to participate in committee operations but do not necessarily need to act as committee chairs]); liaise with DC-based and other local organizations and businesses that complement and/or support the DC State Fair mission; ensure stable financial and legal standing (primarily performed by the CFO on the Board); offer programming and events throughout the year, in addition to the main Fair, possibly in collaboration with organizations that align with DC State Fair’s mission.

Time Commitment

Board members will attend regular meetings beginning in January or February and intermittent committee/volunteer management duties depending on chosen role. From May until the Fair in September, our work intensifies. The Board of Directors will have the greatest time commitment during this period. The overall commitment can range from 4 hours a month during the planning stages to 10+ hours a week as the event approaches, depending on role and personal availability. These are strictly volunteer opportunities.

Term of Office

Board members serve two-year terms, with overlapping terms (three members will finish their first year as the other two finish their second).

To apply, please e-mail your resume and a letter of intent to The deadline to apply is January 30, 2015.