Each exhibit to the Missouri State Fair has something interesting to see. Some of the most colorful and constantly changing exhibits at this year’s Fair can be found daily in the Floriculture Building.
“Every day there is a different show,” Floriculture Superintendent Bev Gerke said. “We change the displays daily and have different speakers and presentations for our visitors.”
One aspect to the Floriculture show that is brand new this year and will remain on exhibit throughout the Fair is the plant and flower photography exhibit.
“I’m kind of an amateur photographer myself,” Gerke said. “I have wanted to have a photography contest here for a long time. I am so pleased and excited to see all the entries we received.”
Gerke said she was hoping for 20 entries in the initial event, but was thrilled when there were 101 entries this year.
The photography exhibit has proven to be a crowd favorite.
The rose show hosted earlier this week was another extremely popular show.
“The roses are always a big draw,” Gerke said. “I think it is because we have such a large number of entries in that show and because everyone appreciates the beauty of roses.”
This year’s weather did have an effect on the number of entries in the Floriculture show.
“I do think our entries were down slightly because of the weather,” Gerke said. “I work as a landscaper and I know it has been a rough year for everyone.”
In her second year as superintendent, Gerke has worked to bring new features and events to the show, but she would also like to return to some of the exhibits she remembers as a child.
“I have been coming to the Fair since I was a year old and I’ve only missed one since then,” Gerke said. “I wasn’t here in 1983 when my daughter was born.
“I remember the floating water trough where the flowers passed by on a wooden blocks,” she added. “I was always mesmerized by them.”
The gladiola show is one that Gerke would also like to see return.
“I love doing what I do,” Gerke said. “I know I couldn’t do this without my staff though.”
Gerke said there are some extra demands placed on her staff because the exhibits change daily.
“We start at 7 a.m. when people start to bring their exhibits in,” Gerke commented. “We are here until 9 p.m. when we start to switch out that day’s exhibits and get ready for the next show.
“I know we all would really like a nap about now,” she added with a smile. “But I also know that we all love doing this and we hope it brings some joy to our visitors.”
Hope Lecchi can be reached at 660-826-1000 ext. 1484