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L.A. County Fair deadlines loom

Cynthia E. Griffin- | 6/23/2010, 5 p.m.

"I'm bored."

These are two dreaded words that can send the parents of vacationing children running for the hills, and with summer school not really an option for most youngsters who are part of the Los Angeles Unified School Districts, moms and dads are going to have to get a lot more creative this year about figuring out how to keep their youngsters occupied.

The Los Angeles County Fair, which takes place from Sept. 4 to Oct. 3, may just hold part of the answer to the problem. Every year, the event features a wide selection of competitions that young people (and adults) can participate in, and the deadline to submit an entry this year is July 6.

Got to the fair's web site: www.lacountyfair.com/2010/entertainment/competitions.asp, and click on the button that says America's Kids to get information on all the different contests.

The theme for this year is "A Time Long Ago," and many of the projects revolve around creating something with a Medieval twist.

Children can submit entries in divisions including preserving foods; cake and cookie baking; gardening; scarecrow making; crafts and ceramics; crown decorating; industrial technology such as drafting and woodworking; creative writing and book jacket art designing; fashion; photography and video. Additionally, there are sewing; needlework and quilting; coloring contests; art competitions and more.

Judges typically must sift through nearly 2,000 entries to find winners. First, second and third place ribbons are awarded for most of the categories, and then all the submissions are put on display for the duration of the fair.

There are very strict guidelines about size and construction, so interested individuals should visit the fair website and get the details. There is no cost to enter most contests.

In addition to the children's competitions, there are similar contests for adults. The deadline to submit entries is June 29, and the divisions include quilting, sewing, ceramics, baking, art and crafts, and many others. The cost is $2 per entry, and multiple submissions are allowed in many divisions.

Entrants must be at least 17 years old, otherwise they must participate in the children's division.