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2024 Food Safety Guidelines

Schedule for Wednesday, October 23, 2024

4:00-7:00 PM – Check-In of all home economics entries at the Maude Cobb Convention Center


Schedule for Thursday, October 24, 2024 10:00 AM-12:00 PM – Exhibits Judged

2:00PM – Public viewing of home economics divisions.

3:00-5:00 PM – All home economic entries must be checked out and picked up. Entries not picked up by 5:00 PM will be discarded.

Items are judged by experienced and trained individuals. Entries may receive either a blue, red or white ribbon. Class winners and Best of Show are awarded in each division. Clover Kids will only receive participation ribbons.


Rules and Regulations

    • All entries will be subject to the General Rules and Regulations of the Harvest Festival.
    • Ribbons will not be awarded when exhibit is unworthy.
    • Only blue ribbon/rosette entries will be eligible for Best of Show awards.
    • Entries should be original work of the exhibitor and completed within the last festival year.
    • All entries in each division will be divided into two (2) age categories. Junior (age 8 and in 3rd grade to age 13) and Senior (14-19 years of age). This will be determined by ages as of August 31, 2024.
    • Clover Kids will be K- 2nd and may participate in the Poster contest only. Clover kids cannot sell any items but will receive participation ribbons.
    • The entry fee is $15.00 PER ENTRY for the Food Creation Division and $10.00 PER ENTRY for PHOTOGRAPHY. The entry fee for other divisions will be $5.00 per entry. Poster Contest for Clover Kids is $1.00 per entry.
    • The Best of Show-Junior and Best of Show-Senior in Food Creations and the Best of Show -Junior and Best of Show-Senior in Photography will be auctioned at the sale on Saturday night. Best of Show winners of Food Creations will need to make a fresh entry to sell at the auction. Best of Show Photography winners will need to frame their photo prior to the sale.
    • Exhibits will not be released before 3:00 p.m. on Thursday, October 24, 2024 and must be picked up by 5:00 p.m. that same day. Please do not ask for exceptions. The Harvest Festival will not be responsible for lost or damaged goods. Food Entries not picked up by 5:00 will be discarded.
    • All entries must be labeled with name of exhibitor, school or organization, and a contact phone number. Please make sure this information is in a location that the judges cannot view.
    • In no event will the Harvest Festival Board, members, or the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Office – Gregg County be responsible for any injury or loss which may occur while in transit or while at the festival, including as a result of sampling entries.
    • Superintendents reserve the right to subdivide divisions/classes based on this year’s entries and competition.


Entry fee – $15.00 per entry (only two entries per exhibitor allowed in Food Creation) Chosen Ingredient for 2024 is: COCONUT

Each entry must contain the above “chosen ingredient” and it must be listed in the recipe’s ingredients. Each entry must be accompanied by the recipe at check in. Use disposable plates and or platters. Make sure the entry is covered completely to ensure food safety regulations. Make sure all wording that identifies the owner is not on the front of the recipe card.

All entries for this division must NOT require refrigeration. Items which require refrigeration will be disqualified. Be sure also to follow the Harvest Festival & Livestock Show Creative Arts – Food Safety Guidelines on our website.

Recipes must accompany the entries at check in – recipe will not be returned! All recipes become the property of the Harvest Festival Home Economics Division. Recipes must be printed or typed on any size note card and on the back of the card must be labeled with the entry number, name of exhibitor, school or organization, and contact phone number.

Items will be judged on appearance, moisture, texture, consistency, flavor and containing the chosen ingredient. No points will be awarded based on plated presentation.

All baked goods are to be made from scratch. No store bought cake, cookie, or brownie mixes are allowed in recipe. The Food Creations categories include:

  1. Yeast Bread/Rolls
  2. Quick Breads
  3. Cakes, Iced
  4. Cakes, Not Iced
  5. Cookies
  6. Candy
  7. Brownies/Bars
  8. Miscellaneous 


Entry Fee – $5.00 per entry (only two entries per exhibitor allowed).

A typed recipe must accompany the entry at check in. Be sure the recipe or the jar does not have wording that identifies the owner in a location that the judges can view. Salsa entries must be canned in traditional, glass mason-style jars with 2-piece lids/band with a properly SEALED lid. Improperly processed salsa will be disqualified. Recipes must include processing times and instructions. The salsa categories include:

  1. Tomato-based salsa
  2. Non-tomato based (vegetable) salsa
  3. Fruit-based salsa

Criteria for judging will be based on taste, aroma, consistency and color.


Entry Fee – $5.00 per entry

Each entry must be healthy and plants should show evidence of being securely rooted in the soil and fit into the following categories:

  1. Succulents
  2. Hanging Baskets – includes ivies, ferns, flowering plants, ect
  3. Container – includes dish gardens, fairy gardens, terrariums, repurposed items as containers
  4. Floral Design – fresh only 

Criteria for judging will be based on health of plant, pest and disease free, good example of the species. No shine enhancing sprays or polishes are allowed.

Artificial and dried floral arrangements must be entered in the Handcrafts division


Entry Fee – $5.00 per entry

Each entry must be appropriate for decorating and fit into the following categories:

  1. Hand Stitchery
  2. Weaving
  3. Ceramic/pottery
  4. Wall hangings/Wreaths
  5. Floral arrangements – artificial and/or dried
  6. Wearable Arts/clothing
  7. Miscellaneous

Criteria for judging will be based on material selection, creativity, originality, workmanship, overall presentation.


Entry Fee – $10.00 per entry (only two entries per exhibitor allowed).

Photos should be matted but NOT framed. Photos must be 8″ X 10″ only in dimension. Photography will be judged in two categories:

  1. Black & White
  2. Color

All photos must be an original photo taken by the exhibitor.

Criteria for judging will be based on originality, technical aspect, composition, artistic merit, overall impact.


Entry Fee – $5.00 per entry

Decorate, carve, paint or dress up a pumpkin for this event.

Let your imagination run wild while also considering the Harvest Festival theme.

Contest Rules:

  1. Each entry can be carved, decorated or painted by the exhibitor.
  2. No electrical or battery operated devices may be used as part of any entry.
  3. Harvest Festival will not be responsible for lost or damaged goods.

Judging: – Entries will be judged according to the following:

  Quality of work, overall theme/presentation, creativity, difficulty

Please note: Entries showing clear signs of rot/decay may be disqualified and discarded immediately.


(Entry Fee – $1.00 per entry)

Clover Kids: K-2nd grade.

Theme:  Harvest Festival

Judging will consider neatness, originality, and skill. Poster should not exceed 22X28 in size. Please include your name, grade and county on the back of your poster.

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