ESCANABA - When exhibitors go to the various venues at the U.P. State Fairgrounds to check to see if their entry won a blue, red or white ribbon - or one of the coveted rosettes - they may be a little taken aback when they see a premium sticker attached to their entry ticket instead of a ribbon.
"We (U.P. State Fair Board) decided to try the stickers this year instead of the ribbons," said Sandy Groleau, exhibitors manager for the fair. "In past years, the groundskeepers found so many of them (ribbons) left behind and even tossed away in the garbage bins. It was obvious that ribbons don't really mean that much to everyone who wins one and they are costly to buy."
But don't despair. Groleau said anyone who desires a ribbon instead of the sticker can simply request one when they pick up their exhibit late Sunday afternoon. There will be a supply of ribbons in each venue.
"There are lots of people who take pride in their ribbons as a show of their pride in exhibiting," Groleau said. "My grandchildren still have the ribbons they won years ago."
The stickers don't apply to the livestock exhibits, however. Those winners will be presented with ribbons.
"The livestock exhibits don't have entry tags like the other exhibits," Groleau explained.
While the stickers are a "first" for the local fair, Groleau said it will be "interesting" to see how many exhibitors exchange them for ribbons.
All the exhibitors who receive awards will still, however, receive a premium check from the U.P. State Fair Board. The amount of each premium varies with each department.
"But anyone who wants to can offer their premium check as a donation to the fair," Groleau said, adding any donation helps offset the expenses of the fair.
The Daily Press will once again post exhibition results on its website as they become available. Go to www.dailypress.net and click on the U.P. State Fair Results icon for a list of ribbon winners.