Marion County 4-H Showcase
4-H Showcase is an annual weekend-long event that happens every summer in Marion County, usually the week after the July 4th holiday. Young people can share what they have learned during the 4-H year by completing projects and entering them for judging and exhibition. Young people can talk with adult judges about what they learned and how they can improve, and judges provide feedback based on score cards. Young people are then awarded ribbons for their accomplishments, and some exhibits are selected to move on to the Indiana State Fair!
Showcase is open to the public, so anyone can come and see what Marion County 4-H’ers have accomplished. In addition to project displays and judging, Showcase also includes fun events like Fashion Revue, Public Speaking Contest, Dog Show, Pet Show, Talent Contest, Bicycle Rodeo, Craft Competition, and more.
Contact the Marion County 4-H office:
2023 Marion County 4-H Showcase Information
Below is information for the 4-H Showcase that was held in July 2023. We will announce dates and information for next summer’s Showcase in early 2024!
Dates: July 13-16, 2023 | Location: Indiana State Fairgrounds 4-H Exhibit Hall
Download a printable schedule here.
Thursday, July 13th, 2023
- 4:00 – 7:00 p.m. Exhibit Drop-off & In-person Judging Opportunity. Drop off your project(s) at the Indiana State Fairgrounds 4-H Exhibit Hall and speak with a judge about your work. If you do not wish to speak with a judge, you can drop off your project on Wednesday, July 12th between 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. at the Marion County Extension Office in Discovery Hall. Contact us if you need to drop off at a different time.
Saturday, July 15th, 2023
Check out our animal shows in the 4-H Exhibit Hall, see projects and ribbons, and participate in fun activities, booths, and demonstrations throughout the day. Community organizations, Purdue programs, and our Foods Club will host activities for Showcase participants.
- 10:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. 4-H Project Viewing
- 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. 4-H Poultry Show & Awards
- 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. 4-H Dog Show & Awards
- 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. 4-H Pets & Small Animals Show
- 3:00 p.m. Crafted! Similar to the TV show Chopped, participants in the Crafted! Competition are given a bag of miscellaneous craft supplies and tasked with designing and creating a particular object. Anyone is welcome to participate.
- 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. Marion County Talent Contest. This is the Marion County qualifying event for the State Fair Talent Contest. Go here for more information.
Sunday, July 16th, 2023
Check out our Public Speaking and Fashion Revue contests, see projects and ribbons, and participate in fun activities, booths, and demonstrations throughout the day. Community organizations, Purdue programs, and our Foods Club will host activities for Showcase participants.
- 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. 4-H Project Viewing
- 11:30 a.m. Bicycle Rodeo. Test your bicycle skills with a fun obstacle course! Registration begins at 11:00 a.m. Anyone is welcome to participate.
- 1:00 p.m. 4-H Fashion Revue. Registration begins at 12:30 p.m.
- 2:30 p.m. 4-H Verbal Communications (Public Speaking) Contest. Registration begins at 2:15 p.m.
- 3:00 p.m. Crafted! Competition. Anyone is welcome to participate.
- 4:00 p.m. Closing Ceremony
- 5:00 – 6:00 p.m. Project Check-out & Ice Cream Social. After the Closing Ceremony, families are welcome to take their projects home. If the judges have decided that your project will move on to the State Fair, you may leave it if you wish.
How to Enter Your Projects
FairEntry is the online program used to organize all projects exhibited at the Marion County 4-H Showcase and at the Indiana State Fair. FairEntry is connected to 4-H Online, so if you are enrolled in 4-H Online, all of your basic information will be populated automatically in FairEntry. You will then need to create entries for each project or event you are entering and provide some basic information about what will be exhibited.
Before You Enter
Before you enter your projects, be sure to (1) check that your enrollment in 4-H Online for the current 4-H year is completed and approved, (2) check that the projects you are exhibiting are added to your profile, and (3) review our online Marion County 4-H Project Handbook and download the exhibit guidelines for your project. Every 4-H project has a set of guidelines with suggestions about what to exhibit and how to best showcase your work. You can also download the score cards that will be used to judge your project. Many projects require specific forms or other items to accompany your project, so make sure you know what those are ahead of time.
Ready to Enter Your Projects?
Use these instructions to guide you through the project entry process: FairEntry Step-by-Step Guide
If you need help finding where your project is located within the FairEntry hierarchy, use the List of Projects A-Z.
Deadline: All projects must be entered in FairEntry by the end of the day July 5th.
If you need help navigating FairEntry, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 317-275-9284. We are here to help!
Cloverbuds (4-H members in grades K-2) can enter projects in the Showcase for participation awards. Cloverbud projects are for exhibition only (not judged), so there are no score cards, and exhibits are not eligible to advance to the State Fair. Use this form to enter your Cloverbud projects:
Animal Fever Contest
Every year, Marion County 4-H hosts an Animal Fever contest at the 4-H Showcase where youth and adults paint a ceramic animal and complete a quiz about their animal for a chance to win a ribbon! The animal to decorate this year is Roary the Lion. Participants also complete a quiz all about lions. Contact Linda Bauknecht to purchase your lion ($6 each) and follow the link below to enter and download the contest guidelines and quiz.
If you are creating a poster as part of your project exhibit, be sure to review our 4-H Project Exhibit Poster Guidelines & Tips. The Marion County Extension office can provide the correct size of foam core backing and plastic sleeves for your poster for a small price (see price list for details).
Judging happens before Showcase and is a chance for 4-H members to talk to a judge and receive feedback on projects (this is referred to as open judging). Judges can be someone who works in a specialized field (for example, a local bakery owner may judge the cake decorating project or a local creative writing professor may judge the communications projects) or have expertise in the area through their hobbies (for example, a Master Gardener may judge the garden projects or someone who loves to sew may judge the sewing projects).
Once judges speak to 4-H members, they will choose the projects they think did the best job. They consider the technical skills used in each project as well as what they learned from 4-H members after speaking with them. Once the judge is finished, 4-H volunteers and the 4-H Extension Educators organize the projects and attach ribbons to each. Then when the doors open on the day of Showcase, young people can see what ribbons they were awarded!
Closed judging is also an option. If you would prefer not to speak with a judge, you may drop off your project ahead of time, although we do encourage all 4-H’ers to take advantage of the opportunity to speak with our judges!