The DC State Fair is an agricultural, culinary, and artistic showcase of the District. Our main event will take place this fall on September 12, 2015 at Old City Farm and Guild, with a full day of competitions and other fun and educational activities for all ages. 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. In following years, the Fair later was held at the Barracks Row Fall Festival. And in 2014, it was held at Old City Farm and Guild on September 21. See photos from last year’s Fair.
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.
Wendy Caron has been a DC resident for nearly 20 years and a DC community gardener for 15 years. She has competed in nearly every DC State Fair and has won several ribbons. The main ingredients for all of the categories she competes in are vegetables and fruits she has grown organically either at her garden plot or in her front yard. Wendy consider herself an urban farmer. She tries to grow and preserve enough food to last throughout the year and to use a least one ingredient that she’s grown in every meal, even if it’s only a clove of garlic or a pickle. An avid cyclist, Wendy hopes one day to combine her love of cycling with her passion for discovering new ways to use her home-grown produce by starting a food bicycle from which to sell home-made baked goods.
Hailing from Bethesda, MD, Abby moved into Washington DC three years ago and has loved it ever since. She has always had a passion for food and cooking, and most recently has delved into agriculture. Her diverse work experience has been focused on improving the food system: from working on an urban farm and at a soup kitchen, to working in the nonprofit world with food hubs, sustainable food enterprises and in international agricultural development. Abby’s current position is in outreach and communications at a government agricultural grantmaking program.
Karen presently works full-time as Assistant Director, Appeals & Litigation Staff, USDA, Farm Service Agency in Washington, DC. She owns both a small urban farm with chickens and goats and a much larger farm in Charles County, Maryland. She has served as one of the first Executive Master Gardeners for USDA and has grown her own all natural fruits, herbs, and vegetables for more than 12 years. Karen also teaches yoga and is skilled in a variety of meditation and energy psychology techniques, including Zen Mindfulness Meditation, centering, and the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT).
Kish Rusek is a writer, environmentalist, and organic gardener who loves to cook, swim, and travel the world. As a grants specialist for the District Department of the Environment, she writes proposals to garner federal funding for air quality, stormwater management, and renewable energy programs. She is passionate about reducing her carbon footprint through zero clothes waste and vegetarianism. A fourteen year District of Columbia resident and longtime vegetarian, Kish Rusek grows organic vegetables in her backyard home garden. She is a no-recipe chef who enjoys cooking dinner nearly every weeknight. Her meals subscribe to three guidelines: they are exceptionally nutritious, comprise inexpensively acquired ingredients (either from her garden or through her meticulous grocery shopping), and take less than twenty minutes to prepare. Outside of her office and her home, she can be found at one of the DC Parks and Recreation aquatic centers where she swims on a masters swim team. Kish and her husband Benjamin are third-year Mandarin students and frequently travel the globe together to seek out delicious food, art, and people of varying cultures and perspectives.
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.
Anna is an avid farmer’s market visitor and enjoys baking all sorts of items from her home kitchen, included breads, pies, cakes and cookies. She and her boyfriend grow hops at their house that he includes in his homebrew. In her day job, she is a marketer and innovator at the National Restaurant Association, connecting restaurant operator members with new technology and marketing concepts.
Anna serves on the advisory board for SXSW Interactive and SXSW V2V. She is active in the user experience and food+tech communities and is a volunteer sous chef for Miriam’s Kitchen, a nonprofit working to end homelessness in Washington, D.C.
(updated February 2014)