Skinker DeBaliviere State Fair: “City Farming at its Best!”

Saturday September 7, 10am – 1pm
[Greg Freeman Park at Four Corners, 6000 Kingsbury Ave. at Des Peres. Ave.]

Registration for Backyard Chickens can still be submitted. Just submit the form at the bottom or email with your name, phone, and street address. Judges will go around on Friday, September 6 to visit the chickens. We hope you’ll join in the fun!

Click here to jump to information about free public lectures.


It’s time to get your veggies, handcrafts, and other home creations ready! Let’s celebrate what we have grown, raised, and made within the Skinker DeBaliviere neighborhood.

The State Fair is almost here – start fine-tuning those recipes, babying your best plants, and creating your homemade items. Bring home a blue ribbon for your first-place win!

Bring Your Entries On Fair Day: Bring your items to the Skinker DeBaliviere Community Council office, 6008 Kingsbury Ave., between 8am-10am on Saturday, September 7. You can enter your items in advance by filing out the form at the bottom of this page, but that’s not required to participate. Nothing fancy is needed – we recommend submitting entries on plain paper plates, and putting baked or delicate items in a plastic baggie. Please bring your flowers in a vase. Register your backyard chickens in advance; judging will take place on Friday, September 6.

Stay for Fun and Education. Join us for lectures on making preserves, backyard chickens, and community gardens. View the entries and see what won a blue ribbon and Best in Show! Bring your kids and enjoy some old-fashioned kids’ games in our “Kidway”.

Skinker DeBaliviere residents and anyone who has grown, raised or made something in the Skinker DeBaliviere neighborhood are invited to submit their items for judging in the following divisions:

  • Vegetables
    • Tomatoes
    • Zucchini*
    • Pepper
  • Fruit
    • Tree fruit
    • Melons
  • Livestock
    • Chickens
  • Flowers
    • Single Stem
    • Arranged
  • Preserves
    • Relishes
    • Jams & Jellies
  • Baked Goods
    • Pies
    • Cookies
  • Needlecrafts
    • Sewn Items
    • Knitted Items
  • Handcrafts
    • Wood
    • Other Materials
Ribbons will be awarded for best in show, first place, second place, and third place in each category!  * Zucchini will have a second set of ribbons for largest, as measured by weight.

Are you interested in submitting an item in one of these categories? Please register in advance by filling out the simple form at the end of this page. (Click here to jump to the form.) Advance registration is not require to participate, but it will help us a lot with determining if there are sufficient participants in every category.

Judges & Judging Criteria

Each division will be judged based on specific criteria. They are:

  • Vegetables: Quality, Appearance, Taste
    Judges: Terry Winkelman (sustainable backyards), Ligaya Figueras (food writer and critic)
  • Fruit: Quality, Appearance, Taste
    Judges:  Angie Meara, Kate Belisle Iffrig (Sustainability Education and Consulting)
  • Livestock: Quality, Appearance, Character
    Judges: TBA
  • Flowers: Quality, Appearance, Creativity
    Judges: Ann Robison (master gardener), Stephanie Sigala (master gardener)
  • Preserves: Quality, Creativity
    Judges: Mary Wissmann (Workshop Presenter, MU Extension)
  • Baked Goods: Quality, Taste, Creativity
    Judges: Katie Wilson (caterer), Laura M. Streett (President of the Board, Green Center)
  • Needlecrafts: Quality, Craftsmanship, Creativity
    Judges: Shelly Goebl-Parker (artist/professor), Lindsay Obermeyer (fabric artist)
  • Handcrafts: Quality, Craftsmanship, Creativity
    Judges:  Mike Wilson (carpenter), Jon Parker (artisan)

Judging Procedures

All entries must be grown, raised, or made within the Skinker DeBaliviere neighborhood. Entries must include sufficient quantities to permit taste-testing where taste is one of the criteria. We recommend submitting entries on plain paper plates, and enclosing any baked or delicate items in a plastic baggie. Flowers should be presented in a vase of the submitter’s choosing.

Backyard chickens must be registered in advance and judging will take place on the evening of Friday, September 6 at the chicken’s coop. Judges will contact you to arrange a time.

On Fair Day:  Each non-livestock entry should be submitted along with an official Entry Form between 8-10am on the day of the Fair, Saturday September 7.  Entries should be retrieved between 1-2pm on Saturday, September 7.

Prizes are awarded at the sole discretion of the judges. At least one first, second, and third place ribbon will be awarded in each class. Only one Best In Show ribbon will be awarded in each Division.

Free Public Lectures

While the judges are doing their work, we invite the whole St. Louis area to come enjoy looking at the marvelous exhibition of items and attending free lectures on such diverse topics as raising backyard chickens and canning fruits & vegetables.

Photo by chotda on Flickr,  |  Presenter: Mary Wissman, Nutrition & Health Ed. Specialist, University of MO Extension
10:00am at SDCC Office, 6008 Kingsbury Ave.

Bio: Mary Wissmann is a Registered Dietitian and has her Master’s Degree in Nutritional Sciences from the University of Missouri. She works as a Nutrition and Health Education Specialist with the University of Missouri Extension and regularly teaches the MU Extension Home Food Preservation Course.

Class Summary: Learn how to safely preserve fresh produce using the latest and safest techniques. The talk will include an overview of canning, freezing, and dehydrating, as well as information on where to find more recipes and further instruction.

Photo by Steven-L-Johnson on Flickr Chickens|  Presenter: William (Bill) Ruppert, Ruppert Gardens and Chicken Ranch
11:00am at SDCC Office, 6008 Kingsbury Ave.

Bio: Bill has owned and managed the St. Louis office of National Nursery Products since 1990. Bill has a B.S. in Agriculture from UMSL and maintains leadership roles in a variety of professional green industry and community service organizations including Landscape and Nursery Association of Greater St. Louis, Horticulture Co-op of Metro St. Louis, Gateway Greening and Kirkwood in BLOOM.

Class Summary: Learn about the “101 basics” associated with backyard poultry among the urban environment Bill will share the facts related to raising and caring for backyard chickens and their beneficial relationship with your vegetable garden and compost pile. Topics include:

  • Understanding the “culture” of chickens
  • Nutrition and general health care
  • Sustainable shelter design
  • How and where to purchase chicks
  • Preparing for the arrival of your chicks
  • and much more

McPherson Community Garden in Skinker DeBaliviereCommunity Gardens|  Presenter: Ryan Barker, Gateway Greening
12:00pm at SDCC Office, 6008 Kingsbury Ave.

Bio: Ryan has been the Community Educator of Gateway Greening since 2010. Prior to this position, he worked as an environmental educator in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wyoming, and received a Masters in Landscape Architecture from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities.

Class Summary: Learn the basics about growing your own vegetable garden in the city, with practical considerations such as planting with the seasons, growing in raised beds and containers, and dealing with problems before and after they occur. This class will also highlight some of the thriving community gardens in the St. Louis community that act as catalysts for neighborhood improvement and community pride.

Register your intent to participate in our first-ever State Fair