Since the girls were in elementary school the Jones family fair entries have been a staple of submissions in categories such as garden produce, crafts and baking.
Andy and Mary were each raised on farms, and keeping the girls involved in agriculture-related activities like 4-H and the local fair is a way of staying connected to their roots.
"It's our way of life," said Mary. "These days lots of kids don't have an idea of where their food comes from."
While fair premiums (prizes) doubled in recent years, when the girls were growing up the $3 first place, $2 second place and $1 third place ribbon awards piled up quickly and represented a lot of money in a child's economy. "It was a big deal to win the prizes," said Mary.
The girls would save items from school and art classes to enter in the fair, and tending a garden became more interesting as an especially perfect bit of produce began taking form.
While their Family Passes have already been purchased, their fair entries may be limited this year. The Jones family had a particularly busy summer, with youngest daughter Michaela, 17, graduating high school and the oldest, Andriana, 21, getting married. Their third daughter, Marissa, is now 19.
With all that, "... we got the garden in a bit late," laughs Mary.
The 14th annual Bedford County Fair kicked off Saturday afternoon with the Fairest of the Fair pageants. It continues through Saturday at the Bedford County Agriculture Center on Midland Road. Family admission passes are available at the gate, and the Carnival opens Tuesday evening at 6:00 p.m. with armbands available for purchase. For more information, visit bedfordcountyfair.org.