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2024 Burnet County Area Fair grows and shows June 7-8

Val Klaudt

Master Gardener Val Klaudt in her home greenhouse in Burnet. Klaudt is supervisor for Division 14-Potted Plants and Flowers at the Burnet County Area Fair from June 7-8 in Burnet. Entries in the division will be accepted at the AgriLife building, 607 N. Vandeveer in Burnet, from 4:30-6:30 p.m. June 5 and 9 a.m. to noon June 6. Staff photo by Suzanne Freeman

The potted plant and flower division at the Burnet County Area Fair is expected to grow even bigger than last year when 50 entries vied for an array of ribbons, including Best of Show. With a record 128 entries in 2023, the quilts division should up the stitch count at the 2024 fair. 

“It’s a lot of fun; that’s why I do it,” said Roxanne Dunegan, who has been entering fair projects since 1963 when she was a Busy Bees 4-H Club member in East Brunswick, New Jersey. “And I’ll do it until I can’t do it anymore.” 

Themed “Happiness is Homemade,” the 2024 Burnet County Area Fair is open to the public from 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Friday, June 7, and 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Saturday, June 8, in the AgriLife building, 607 N. Vandeveer in Burnet. By the time doors open Friday morning, entries will be on display with their ribbons in place.

This year, Division 3-Baked Goods has two new categories: artisan breads and almost-from-scratch pies. Contestants can now enter pies with a store-bought crust, which are judged separately from those with homemade crusts.

“People asked us last year to add these two categories,” said baking division Supervisor Roberta Eacott. “We go by what contestants ask for.”

The updated baking division is of interest to fair fan Dunegan, who always enters a variety of categories, including quilts, potted plants, and arts and crafts. She bakes with her 22-year-old granddaughter, Isabella Cummings of Burnet. Last year, they experimented with gluten-free baking when that category was added. This year, artisan bread bakers might find some competition from Dunegan. 

“Bella always does cakes, while I have a preference for yeast breads,” she said. 

Eacott also keeps an eye on the entries. Decorated jars filled with cookies fell off the list several years ago because no one was competing in the category. 

Cookie and cake entries remain popular. 

“There’s always a big interest in entering cookies and cakes, especially from the kids,” Eacott said. “It warms my heart to see more children entering.” 

Burnet County Area Fair
The winning egg entries from the 2023 Burnet County Area Fair are displayed in groups of three on plates provided by the fair. Entries should be clean but not washed. No artificial coloring or sprays are allowed. Staff photo by Suzanne Freeman

Val Klaudt, who supervises the potted plant and flowers division, also advocates for more entries from young people. Klaudt is a Master Gardener and owner of Sunny Day Gardens, which she runs from her home greenhouse in Burnet. She sells fresh-cut flowers and plants she propagates and grows herself. 

“When I think of the fair, I think of kids,” she said. “There are so many different categories they can enter. We just need to get the word out, get them excited.” 

People of all ages also compete in fine arts, creative writing, jewelry, woodworking, metal arts, needlework, preserved foods, and more—21 divisions in all, each with different categories.

Creative writing includes poetry entries based on the fair’s theme, “Happiness is Homemade.” Homemade ice cream comes with a crank-off event at 2 p.m. Friday, where fair-goers can taste interesting new flavors. Cactus ice cream won Best of Division a few years ago.

A full list of divisions, categories, application information, and rules for entering can be found on the event’s website:

Although Klaudt and the judges are all expert gardeners, anyone can have a green thumb and enter potted plants and flowers. 

“I know a lot about plants, but you really don’t need to know a lot about plants to grow one,” Klaudt said. “Also, adults are judged separately from the senior youth and junior youth divisions.”

Ribbons for first, second, and third places and Best of Division are given at all three age levels. 

A Best of Division ribbon is chosen from all of the first-place blue ribbon winners. Red ribbons are given for second place and white for third. Yellow ribbons are given for participation, whether an entry places or not. The score sheets filled out by judges are available to competitors to learn from so next year’s entry is even better.

“It’s never mattered to me whether I ever got a ribbon,” Dunegan said. “It’s just that you entered, took your time with a project, did the best you could, and entered the fair. It’s always fun.”

Those who don’t have a project to enter can browse the fair for new hobbies and project ideas.

“I think anybody who does anything can find a category or division in the fair,” Dunegan said. “It could just be baking a dozen cupcakes. Any kind of artwork, arts and crafts, ceramics or oils, or pencil drawings, any art can be entered and is appreciated.” 

The Burnet County Area Fair accepts entries from residents of Burnet, Llano, Blanco, Lampasas, San Saba, Bell, Williamson, and Travis counties. 


Friday, June 7 

  • 9:30 a.m.—Opening ceremony
  • 2 p.m.—Ice cream crank-off
  • 4-5 p.m.—Cooking demonstration
  • 5:30 p.m.—Awards presentations and photographs

Saturday, June 8

  • 8 a.m.-2 p.m.—42 tournament
  • Noon to 2:30 p.m.—music by Terri and Friends