There are a bunch of new contests at the Du Quoin State fair this year, the brainchild of the fair's new special events coordinator Tawmi Conley.
There will be everything from a baby photo contest, a pet and pet-parents lookalike photo contest, and a re-create the photo content -- re-create a photo you took years ago -- to a lip-sync contest, a talent contest and a duct-tape dress contest.
That's right, a dress made out of duct tape and nothing else.
"I really want people to enter these contests, but a lot of people don't know about them," Conley said last week. "The entry deadline for the photo contest is Aug. 25 -- people have to print them out and bring them by 5 p.m. or they won't be judged."
For the Kids of Personality baby picture contest, there are lots of categories, since little kids change so much in the first three years. Boys and girls will be judged separately in age categories of 0-6 months; 7-12 months, 1 year, 2 years and 3 years old.
The parent/child look-alike contest includes mother/daughter; mother/son; father/son and father/daughter. Only one entry per family is allowed.
The cutest pet contest includes Cutest Dog Picture; Craziest Dog Costume; Cutest Cat Picture; Craziest Cat Costume; Cutest Any Other pet; and Craziest Costume Any Other pet.
The awards for all of these contests will be handed out by the winners of another new contest -- three young miss pageants.
Instructions and ground rules for all these contests -- plus the duct-tape dress, lip-syncing and talent contest, are available at this link: https://www2.illinois.gov/sites/dsf/competitions/home-show/Documents/homeshow.pdf.
Conley and her team are working overtime to create fund events at the fair. and she would love to see a good turnout.