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Numbers were up all around for entries into the Exhibition Hall at this year's Emo Fair—and the judges couldn't be happier.

“Everything looks good,” judge Sylvia Goodheart smiled.

“It's nice to see so many people exhibiting and taking part.”

The increased participation helps to create a stronger sense of community in the district, Goodheart added.

With the Thunder Bay fair board for 30 years, Goodheart has visited the Emo Fair from Thunder Bay for the past three years to help facilitate the judging process.

And the veteran judge had only good things to say about the quality of entries that filled this year's Exhibition Hall.

“We have seen some really nice stuff, and we have lots of new people entering that have never entered before,” she enthused.

Goodheart said the quilting work in this area is particularly beautiful while she also enjoyed seeing all the different vegetables grown across the district.

She also is a fair judge instructor and has taught judging across the northwest in places like Emo, Fort Frances, Kenora, and Dryden.

To become a fair judge, two classes must be taken and a junior judge period must be completed, during which an individual shadows a qualified judge to develop firsthand experience.

After a person becomes a judge, they are given a fair standards book from the Ontario Association of Agricultural Societies.

The book outlines the judging process and also creates a standardized method for the judging process for all of Ontario.

The process of becoming a judge isn't overly rigorous but Goodheart admitted it does take time.

She would encourage anyone with an interest in judging to take the courses and become one.

Those interested can e-mail RRVAS@hotmail.com

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