It is a Picture Perfect Time to Earn a Blue Ribbon at the 2023 Clay County Fair

Spencer, Iowa — It’s a great time to begin sifting through all the photos you have taken this year and enter them in one of the many photography competitions at the 2023 Clay County Fair powered by SMU, September 9-17.

“We are very excited to see what photos people have taken and are submitting this year in 2023,” said Dana Metcalf, superintendent of the Photography Department. “The photos from the new classes are always so fun to look at!”

This exciting exhibitor event lets photographers enter up to 12 photographs with one entry per class. Divisions include color photographs or black and white photographs of people, places, landscapes, objects, plants, or animals/insects world.

A separate division for creative photography allows photographers to use different techniques to alter the photograph, including computer manipulation, multi-images into one photo, camera filters, and trick lenses. A separate class, other than above, is available for people who have altered an image other than the three categories.

Exhibitors entering sponsored divisions have the opportunity to win increased cash prizes. All divisions include a youth class for those under the age of 18 and an adult class.

The Photography Department is excited to have nine new sponsored special theme classes, including “Sports: Pitching,” a sports division sponsored by the Jim Shriner Family, which was added in 2022.

The other sponsored divisions of this year’s Fair include, “20” (objects division sponsored by Spencer Truck Line); “Waves” (water division sponsored by VW Docks of Spirit Lake); “Celebrate” (concepts division sponsored by Campbell, Higgins, and Mummert, P.C.); “What a Great Event!” (photojournalism division sponsored by the Spencer Daily Reporter); “Spring” (beautiful Iowa division sponsored by Clay Mutual Insurance); “Helping Wildlife” (conservation division sponsored by Clay County Soil Conservation Service); “What a Ride” (action division sponsored by Boyd and Sailer Dental Center); and “Making Memories” (agriculture division sponsored by GWS Farms).

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 entries are accepted at the Photography Center, located just south of the Commercial Events Building, on Friday, September 1 (12:00 pm-7:00 pm) or on Saturday, September 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