By ROSELYNN WAHTOMY
BLACKFOOT — Lilly Little-Jay is the Native American Department Superintendent during the Eastern Idaho State Fair.
This is her first year heading the department and she chose to do so because volunteering and giving back to the community has always been close to her heart.
Lilly’s mother is Eloise Little, who was a former recipient of the Governor’s Award. She passed on her knowledge of quillwork and doing hides to her children who continue doing the work today.
Lilly used to work as a case manager with TANF, until she fell ill. Fortunately she’s overcome her health issues and is currently homebound and is happy to have this event to look forward to.
Lilly said the Native American Department highlights the beautiful beadwork, crafts and arts of the Shoshone-Bannock people.
“Our tribal people really do have beautiful, quality work. They’re all different,” she said. The booth creates a good opportunity to bring out their items and share with the outside communities.
She encourages people to bring in their items and show off their workmanship. She wants people to feel secure in knowing the items will be well cared for by the staff on hand.
Entry dates for the Native American Department are Tuesday, August 28 from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Wednesday, August 29 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. in the Agriculture Building. Judging will take place at 10 a.m. on Thursday, August 30.
Exhibitors must be a member of federally recognized tribe and may be required to show proof of enrollment. Entry forms can be found at www.funatthefair.com under the Exhibitors & Competitors. Fees are $1 for each of the first four entries or $5 per sheet will be charged to exhibitors. Entry sheets should be filled out before time of entry and brought with them. All rules can be found online.
Categories include: baking, food preservation, clothing & home department, beadwork, artwork, porcupine quillwork, children’s/teen beadwork, and gardening. A complete list of specific categories can be found online.
This year’s special prizes will be awarded with trophies and cash prizes, the categories include: buckskin jacket, any plain or bead; real elk tooth dress; Bannock Bread; horse regalia, any bead; reservation hats; quill or beaded items, with start to finish photos; women’s buckskin dress; men’s beaded outfit; men’s buckskin beaded breech cloth; horse regalia rawhide or beaded saddle bags; Shoshone-Bannock beaded sole parade men’s moccasins; beadwork with story; Shoshone-Bannock wool or velvet beaded yoke dress.
Superintendent’s Choice will win $200; Chairman’s Choice will win $100 and Tribal Leader’s Choice (four) will win at $25 each. The cash prizes will come from the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes.
There will also be a Spectator’s Choice of the Day, which will be awarded on each day of the fair voted upon by the visitor’s favorite item. On Wednesday, the entry receiving the most votes will be awarded a special ribbon. An entry can only win once.
The Native American Department Exhibit is open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily throughout the fair.
All entries can be released on Sunday, September 9 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
For more information please contact Ann Marie Mangum, Office Administrator for the Eastern Idaho State Fair at 208-785-2480 ext. 101.