EISF employees Debbie LaMere and Anna Bowers.
By DANA HERNANDEZ
BLACKFOOT — The Eastern Idaho State Fair’s Native American department accepted entries for this year’s exhibitions up until Thursday, August 29.
Exhibitors were able to submit their exhibits to Anna Bowers at the Tribal Building on Tuesday, August 27 and within the first hour, there were a total of ten exhibits already submitted.
Anna Bowers is the superintendent for the Native American department a position she has served for the past five years, except for last year. She said it takes about eight people to help run the Native American department, “They are present to make sure the exhibits are tagged and if they place, that the ribbons are placed on the item, and the premiums are paid to the exhibitor.”
In regards to the exhibitors who participate, she has seen around an average of 75 tribal people submit their exhibits and around five to ten non-tribal participants.
When asked about how the judging is done, Anna said, “I try to choose a judge who is knowledgeable, who is an artist, or who comes from a family of artists and beaders. All of the judges have been different, they have a unique view of how things are made or how they should be made, but overall they are judging on their knowledge.”
She also said, “I want to see more participation because we are artists and regardless if an item is first place or not, it is something that our people need to see in the exhibit.” There was a unique item that was submitted as the first exhibit and that was a rabbit robe, “The unique and old items are important for our people to see.”
Some guidelines that are expected: exhibitors must be a member of a federally recognized tribe and enrollment verification may be required. There is a $1 entry fee for the first four entries or $5 per sheet, but if you are a Shoshone-Bannock tribal member the fees are waived because the tribe pays for their entry fees.
Premium payouts on ribbons can be picked up from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Monday, September 2 through 7. Premiums can also be picked up on Sunday, September 8 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and again on September 9 from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Cash premiums will be available at the Park Street payout window, which is west of the main gate. Premiums not claimed by September 30 will be considered a donation and will be reverted back to the Fair’s general fund.
The release date for the exhibitions is from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Sunday, September 8.