State Fair judges detail duties

Opening Day for the Kentucky State Fair is right around the corner, bringing all sorts of festivities to finish out your summer. While it's all fun and games for most of us, it's serious business for thousands of others hoping to take home a top prize.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) - Opening Day for the Kentucky State Fair is right around the corner, bringing all sorts of festivities to finish out your summer. While it's all fun and games for most of us, it's serious business for thousands of others hoping to take home a top prize. From crafts to cooking, there are all sorts of categories for the competitions. Judging those events is no easy job, either.

"It's like a little reunion. We have fun every year we come,” quilts’ judge Linda Luggen said. "It is extremely detailed, and it is a lot of work.”

From antiques to quilts, there is plenty to look at and even more to be judged. Luggen started judging 15 years ago, but uses every competition to improve her craft.

"You just get to see the most beautiful quilts up close and learn more about them, the quilter, and the process,” Luggen said.

Quilts are judged on several components like design and workmanship.

"For example, the piecing being precise, the applique being invisible, lines of sewing being straight,” Luggen said.

Across the hall at the Kentucky Expo Center, antiques also stick to a strict script.

"The things are judged on age, condition, and rarity,” antiques judge Mike Sullivan said.

Mike Sullivan has been in the antique business for more than three decades, but that didn't guarantee him a judging job.

"They actually vetted us for two years before they picked us as judges. They had to make sure we had the right amount of experience and everything was on the up and up,” Sullivan said.

Even with all of his experience, Sullivan said every competition brings a different challenge.

"We really take this seriously. It isn't a game. These are people's real items. Some of them have been passed through the family for years and years and years,” Sullivan said. "I've been on jury duty several times. I actually think this was harder than being on jury duty.”

However, unlike that typically undesired task, Sullivan said this assignment is always one he looks forward to.

"You never quit learning. There's always something new,” Sullivan said. 

© 2017 WHAS-TV


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