LAMPASAS — Artistry and skill came to life this year in the exhibits on display at the Lampasas County Fair. Winning entries consisted of paintings, aprons, vegetables, photographs, quilts, jewelry and a variety of unique, handcrafted items.

Veteran county fair participant Pat Clepper won in two categories with her baked sourdough bread and the elaborate blossom of her Aggie blooming plant.

For Clepper, who calls herself a “plant person,” a hobby that started years ago as a way to make homemade gifts blossomed into winning county fair exhibits.

“I love to grow things and I’ve had that plant about three years,” Clepper said. “And this year is the most beautiful it’s been with its full foliage. I started making the sourdough bread in the past, giving it to friends and neighbors, and I just decided to enter a loaf of it this year.”

As it turns out, one of Clepper’s gifts from the past would eventually become a winner in this year’s competition.

Last year, she gave a small Crown of Thorns plant to her friends, Lampasas County Extension Agent Karen deZarn and her husband. The small, once fledgling plant has now become a crimson efflorescence that won Russell deZarn a first-place ribbon as the reserve champion in the Horticulture and Plants Senior Division.

Clepper also is a member of the Rumley Club, which helps sponsor the county fair as a branch of the Lampasas County AgriLife Extension Office.

Nine-year-old Anaya Yancy was one of the youngest winners this year with her matching necklace and earring set, which earned her the title of Jr. Division Champion in the Crafts and Textiles category.

Yancy loves to sew and make jewelry, and this was her second year to enter the fair. She said winning the pedigree distinction makes her happy, and she plans to enter the jewelry in next week’s 4-H Club Fashion Show.

“I like to make jewelry, and I sell it or give it away,” Yancy said.

The youngster’s bright smile may be why deZarn said county fair officials plan to expand the number of youth divisions in the future and work more closely with 4-H clubs in the area.

First-time participant Annette Dowell won one of the top honors with her “Hand Horseshoe” painting. She took home a first-place blue ribbon, a certificate and Best of Show plaque in the Senior Division Art/Overall category.

With intricate detail, the painting depicts the strong hands of a Texas rancher shoeing a horse’s hoof. The painting could be a shoe-in for exemplifying this year’s Spring Ho Festival theme, “Saddles, Spurs and Springs.”

“We had some really wonderful and unique exhibits,” deZarn said. “It’s amazing to see the number of talented people that live within our community.”

The county fair is held simultaneously each year with the Lampasas Spring Ho Festival on the second week in July. Exhibits will remain on display at the Lampasas County Annex Conference Room, 409 S. Pecan St., until 4 p.m. today.

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