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Fair Awards Program

In an effort to recognize fairs who excel in the fair industry The North Carolina Association of Agricultural Fairs makes awards presentations at its annual convention. In an effort to make the award program even for all, fairs are divided into four categories and judging is done by a person or persons not involved with a fair in the category of the fair being judged.

  • Category 1 fairs are fairs whose paid attendance is from 0 to 15, 000 people.
  • Category 2 fair attendance is between 15,001 - 40,000
  • Category 3 fairs have attendance of over 40,001

View Award Recipients

Governmental Fairs

Governmental fairs, or fairs that are operated by city, county, or state governments are in a separate category for the awards program. An Agricultural Award, Youth Award, and a Media Award are presented in these four categories each year. A fourth award, the Image Award, is given in categories 1, 2, and 3 to a fair that is said to have the best fair of its size for that year.


Information coming soon.


Information coming soon.


The Agriculture Award is given annually to fairs (one in each Category I, II, III, and Governmental) that best showcase agriculture and the agricultural heritage of the area served. The fairs have outstanding quality and quantity of agricultural-related competitive exhibits and displays. Also, the fairs have agricultural-related commercial exhibits and involve agricultural agencies, agricultural commodity groups and organizations. Agricultural products including new and antique (old) agricultural machinery and equipment are displayed and farm-related demonstrations are on-going. Livestock and poultry exhibits and/or livestock shows are representative of the area served. Agricultural-related contests and entertainment are carried out at the fairs to further showcase agriculture. Landscaping and/or decorations are another way agricultural products are showcased. New areas for agricultural competitions and/or displays, as well as, innovative ideas expressing our agricultural heritage play a prominent role at these fairs and add variety and educational value.


The prestigious Image Award is given annually to fairs (one in each Category - I, II, and III) that truly represents what a NC Agricultural Fair should be.  The Image Award cannot be won by the same fair two years in a row, however, the fair can compete for the Agriculture and Youth Awards. Award winning fairs will have a balance of outstanding agricultural and youth exhibits and displays, livestock exhibits and/or livestock shows, contests, entertainment, commercial displays, a variety of foods, and a good carnival (some small fairs may not have carnivals). Also, the fair will involve many individuals, groups, organizations, and clubs and generally be a cross-section of the area served. The facilities and grounds should be clean, neat, and customer friendly. Customers attending the fair are provided with a safe environment and friendly, inviting atmosphere. The fair will be very progressive and making improvements based on available resources.

The fairs winning the Image Award should be and are striving to epitomize the characteristics of what a good agricultural fair is all about.


The Media Award is given annually to fairs (one in each Category I, II, III) that have the best overall advertising and public relations campaigns. Entries are judged on creativity, attractiveness, originality, and overall effectiveness. Entry categories include newspaper advertising, radio and video advertising, billboards, news releases or articles, website, and social media.  Fairs may enter all categories or just the ones relevant to their fair.  The more the better as we are looking for the Best Overall Campaign.


Please use the link below to submit your 2022 NCAOAF Media Awards Entry Form.  You will receive a confirmation email stating your entry has been received. Please contact Rachael Lough at 336-727-2236 or rachaeld@carolinaclassicfair.com with questions or issues with uploading your files.


All entries must be received by December 2, 2022.   Winning Fairs will be recognized at the 2023 NCAOAF Convention.

Submit Media Award


The Youth Award is given annually to fairs (one in each Category I, II, III, and Governmental) that best showcases youth and youth activities of the area served. Factors involved in determining youth award winners are (1) numbers of individuals, schools, school organizations and clubs, and other youth organizations such as 4-H, Scouts, etc.,

(2) quality and quantity of competitive exhibits and displays or educational booths, (3) variety of youth contests and overall participation, (4) youth participation in Junior Livestock Shows and/or as livestock exhibitors, (5) involvement in special events and activities for youth, (6) having youth involvement with the fair such as workers, directors, or a Junior Fair Board, and (7) participation in scholarship programs either locally or with the NCAOAF or both.

Since youth are the future of Agricultural Fairs, the winning fairs recognize the importance of youth participation and involvement and strive to improve and add youth activities.


The award is given in memory of two great men who were dedicated to the fair industry and touched our lives in special ways; James Holmes, Past-President of the Association and Manager of the Durham County Fair for many years and Woodie McBride, longtime Associate Member Concessionaire and Carnival Operator.  James also worked as a decorator at many of our fairs and was on the planning and set-up committee for our conventions until he passed away.  Woodie was best known for his eating joints at the State Fair and great hospitality suite (still being carried on by his family) at our State Convention.  Both men helped many newcomers with their vast knowledge of the fair industry and always had a dollar to lend someone who was down.

In honor of the service rendered, the Holmes/McBride Award is given to an individual for distinguished achievement in, or contribution to, the Fair Industry.

Two awards are given, one for a Fair Member and one for an Associate Member. He/she must be a living member, or past member, of the North Carolina Association of Agricultural Fairs who has been consistently active in the fair industry for a number of years.


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