Creative Arts is back with more at the 2023 Clay County Fair

Spencer, Iowa — The Clay County Fair Creative Arts department is back showcasing the creative skills of exhibitors at the 2023 Clay County Fair Powered SMU, Sept. 9-17.

“We’re so excited for this year’s special feature class, ‘Water,’ which allows exhibitors to use their artistic ability of Creative Arts to show their appreciation and beauty of water,” said superintendent, Cindy Kress. This division is open to all ages.

Besides the special feature class, there are more than 30 other sponsored award classes, including woodturning, printed fabrics, fused glass, mixed media, clothing accessories, molded and youth 2-D paintings, and pottery.  Sponsors include Seams to Me, Warm Company, Forever, Arts on Grand, Beehive, Prairie Woolens, Consumer’s Lumber, Clover Cottage, Quilters Portable, and Vermeer Glass Art.

New to the Creative Arts department is the Memorable Collections competition, sponsored by Signe Kim Lauridsen-Jones. This competition lets exhibitors display their favorite collections that they have gathered. Collections should be displayed with items that best represent it with photos and a short story telling why the collection is important and memorable.

The Quilt Block Contest for 2023, sponsored by Quilt Steeple, is also new for the Creative Arts department. To participate in this contest you must buy a quilt block contest kit before entering for this year. The blocks from the contest will be made into a quilt and will be raffled off with the winner being announced in June 2024.

Traditional competitions returning include needlework, painting, crochet, quilting, patchwork, garment making, and woodworking.

Entries are open to all ages from any county or state.  Check out the exhibitor handbook online at or pick one up at the Fair Administrative Offices to find the rules and guidelines to enter your work at the Fair. Pre-registration for all exhibits is encouraged and can be completed online, by mail, or in person by August 21. For those who choose not to pre-register, registration can also occur when entries are accepted on Friday, Sept. 1 (Noon-7:00 pm) and Saturday, Sept. 2(9:00 am-3:00 pm).

About the Clay County Fair & Events Center Rooted in Tradition, the Clay County Fair and Events Center is a year-round facility that annually hosts more than 300 events, including its signature event, the Clay County Fair powered by SMU.  Known as “The World’s Greatest County Fair” since 1917, the Clay County Fair attracts more than 325,000 guests each September for nine days of world-class entertainment, competition, food, fun, and the largest farm machinery show at any fair in the United States. Additional information can be found at