Some families just attend the State Fair of Texas together, but at least one Lakewood family takes it a step further. For the past five years, Pam Forgerson and her two sons have entered crafts into State Fair competitions — and won. Forgerson, whose mother taught her to sew and make clothes in the fifth grade, believes it has been a good experience for her sons. “I always said my boys were artistically challenged, and I thought that the chance of a ribbon might motivate them into working on some kind of art project,” she says. “It worked.” Last year, 12-year-old Sam placed second in the junior pottery division; 15-year-old Will received an honorable mention for a quilt. Plus, Forgerson’s first full quilt won. Although the boys might be “more excited about running the sewing machine really fast,” the positive feedback is the best part, Forgerson says. Last year, a man approached Will raving about the quilt he made. This year, Will is entering a piece of pottery. For Forgerson, what’s most important is that her sons made an effort, tried something different and stepped out of their comfort zones. They leave the Fair with more than fried cookie dough; they leave with a sense of accomplishment.

For information about the State Fair of Texas, Sept. 26-Oct. 19 or visit

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