Creative Colorado TableSetting 2016


Andrea Smith designed this High Country Celebration Table which won a blue ribbon and the Best of Show First Place,

Andrea Smith designed this High Country Celebration Table which won a blue ribbon and the Best of Show First Place.


Julie Farnham created this "Cowboy Vittles" table which won a blue ribbon and came in second for best of show.

Julie Farnham created this “Cowboy Vittles” table which won a blue ribbon and came in second for best of show.


Karen Martin arranged this children's china table which won a blue ribbon and came in third for best in show.

Karen Martin arranged this children’s china table which won a blue ribbon and came in third for best in show.


The Tuesday Hiking Group created this Christmas table which won a blue ribbon and tied for third in best of show.

The Tuesday Hiking Group created this Christmas table which won a blue ribbon and tied for third in best of show.


Cheryl Schutz won a blue ribbon for her Blue Royal dinner arrangement.

Cheryl Schutz won a blue ribbon for her Blue Royal dinner arrangement.


Cheryl Schutz won a blue ribbon for her table "Dinner for John & Priscilla Larchmont"

Cheryl Schutz won a blue ribbon for her table “Dinner for John & Priscilla Larchmont”




Jean smiles at her creation.
Start planning yours for October 2017!








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Creative Colorado TableSetting 2016
“High Country Celebrations: Past and Present”

What: An Estes Park Museum Friends’ fundraising competition open to adults, children (8-18), families, social clubs, philanthropies, and professional /commercial entities including 1) inns and restaurants, and 2) shops and businesses.

Creative Colorado TableSettings will showcase participants’ table setting displays, (accompanying menus), and centerpieces appropriate for the Show’s theme: “High Country Celebrations: Past and Present”

When: Oct 21-23, 2016

Where: The YMCA of the Rockies Estes Park, CO (Willome Building)

Proceeds Benefit: The Estes Park Museum Friends & Foundation, Inc.

Important Dates: Monday September 1, 2016     Registration opens

Saturday October 15, 2016   Registration Deadline
Fri.     Oct 21    10:00-5:00 Participants Set up Entries
Sat.     Oct 22   10:00-5:00 TableSettings Show open to public
Sun.   Oct 23    10:00-4:00 TableSettings Show open to public
4:00 p.m. Awards Ceremony: Best in Show
4:30-6:00 p.m. Removal of Table settings

Contact Information:

Nancy P. Thomas                           Marty Yochum Casey

What is a table setting?

A table setting is generally defined as dining table set with appointments appropriate for serving a specific menu of food items. These table setting “appointments” include: table linens (cloth and napkins), flatware (utensils), tableware (plates, serving pieces, dishes), and glassware; as well as a centerpiece, candle holders, and other decorative items creatively arranged to increase the visual appeal of a particular setting.

Table settings can be formal or informal.* See diagrams below that indicate items necessary for each kind of menu and their correct position or arrangement on the table.

In this competition, table settings can also be either contemporary (tableware items dating from the 1950 to the present) or vintage (tableware items manufactured before1949.)


Who May Enter?

There are three categories
1) Individual Adults (over 19), club (social, fraternal, bridge/ book, etc.) or organization

2) Individual Children (8-12, Junior)(13-18, Senior)

3) Commercial and professional businesses including retail and design shops, and inns, restaurants, tearooms.


Who Decides Who Wins?

Creative Colorado TableSettings is a competition among registered entrants, and their table settings will be judged by an independent panel selected by the Estes Park Museum Friends. Judging is a “double blind process:” judges do not know the identity of exhibitors; identity of judges is not revealed to exhibitors.

First (blue ribbon), Second (red ribbon), and Third (white ribbon) Place Prizes will be awarded in each Adult division (1) individual/club/family, or (2) restaurant/inn/shop/business), in each class (1) contemporary or (2) vintage, and in each level (1) formal or (2) informal).

(The panel will employ the American Judging System, which ranks exhibits one against another). First Place (or Blue ribbon) winners in each Division/level /class will be entered into a “Best in Show” competition that will be determined by vote of Show-goers.

The Children’s divisions (Junior 8-12, Senior 13-18) will be considered using the Danish Judging System, where each entry is reviewed on how well it meets a standard rather than how it compares to other entries. Entries are judged Blue (superior), Red (very good), or White (good).

Judging Process: Judges have the authority to disqualify or transfer to the correct division, level or class any table setting exhibit that does not meet the requirement of the division, level. or class in which it is entered.

The Judging process is closed to both exhibitors and the public. The decision of the judges is final. Competition results will be posted on Saturday by 10:00 a.m., and on the TableSettings website after the event is over. Best in Show Awards will be announced on Sunday afternoon at 4 p.m. Please do not call or email Coordinators for results.


How to Enter?

All entries must be pre-registered. Each paid entry will receive one complimentary entrance ticket for the TableSettings Show on Saturday and Sunday. Social group entries will receive two complimentary entrance tickets; businesses, shops, restaurants, etc. entries will receive three complimentary tickets. Entry fees are not refundable.

To Register: Complete an Entry Form here:
Entry Form CCT

Paper Copy available at the Estes Park Museum
Mail the Entry form before October 15, 2016 and a check for the entry fee to:
TableSettings Competition
Estes Park Museum
200 4th Street
Estes Park, Colorado 80517

Entry forms may also be turned in at the Museum.

Entry forms will be dated and numbered as received, and those received first will have priority. All entries received by the deadline (October 15) will be accepted, unless the exhibitor is otherwise notified.


What is the Entry Fee?

Exhibitor Entry Fees will be assessed as follows:

Adult:                              $15.00
Child:                               $10.00
Social Clubs:                   $25.00
Commercial/Business:   $30.00
Restaurants/Inns:          $30.00


Basic Steps in Planning and
Setting Up your Table Setting at the Competition


First: Register for the Show by October 15, 2016. Registration opens September 1, 2016.
Then: Create a menu that is relevant to the show’s theme and suitable for your imagined event, as well as the level (informal or formal) you have chosen. For this show, a minimum of three courses should be served, for both formal and informal meals
Plan a table design that reflects the theme. Then gather all the elements (linen, dinnerware, flatware, centerpiece) needed to serve your menu items.

Contestants will share 1/2 of the 8′ tables provided by the Y. This means that each contestant will have approximately 48″ X 32″ of table surface to use for his or her entry.

On Friday, Oct. 21 (10:00-5:00)

  1. Check in at the registration desk, pick up your packet, and locate your assigned table space.

  2. Bring all the items you will use in decorating and setting your table.

  3. Set the table with two (2) place settings and display your menu (be sure to check spelling, grammar and punctuation) and your registration number card (included in your packet).

  4. Set flatware, glassware, cups saucers (if using), and plates corresponding to courses listed on the menu and according to table setting guidelines. Once a table setting is complete, no further additions or changes can be made to it.

  5. During set up times, only the person (hereinafter referred to as the Exhibitor) whose name appears on the entry form is allowed to take part in the table setting activity. However, helpers (1 per entry) may assist the Exhibitor to carry in a table (if using your own) and elements of the exhibit.

  6. Exhibitors may bring paper diagrams, lists, or plans, for reference, while they are setting up. Cell phones and computer devices are not allowed during setup.

  7. Table settings including centerpieces, must be contained on the top of the table or may rise over the table. Centerpieces are not to exceed 24” above the table top.

NOT Allowed: actual food items, lighted candles, paper tablecloths and napkins, plastic flatware, or electrical devices.


Send an email to: OR call Nancy: 970-577-8809


FOR: All Types of Settings

Place cards:   if used, should be placed:
1) on top of the napkin (if napkin is on the plate), or
2) above the dessert flatware.

Menu: Menu items should be listed in the following order (note, not very menu will include all of these dishes; and some may have more)
Main Dish

Where more than one method of cooking is commonly used for a particular food item, note the cooking method on the Menu. For example:
Roast Turkey (rather than Turkey)
Scalloped Potatoes (rather than just “potatoes”)
Steamed Carrots (rather than just “carrots”), etc.

For Formal Table Settings:

Formal place settings follow a specific placement pattern. Please use the diagram provided below as a model.

Table Linens:
Use a tablecloth (12-18 inches drop from table’s edge)
Place napkins folded in squares or rectangles, at the left of the forks, or place the folded napkin on the empty dinner plate.

Set flatware about 1-inch from edge of the table in straight line.
Flatware should be arranged at each place in the order of its use for the various courses; utensils in the outermost positions to be used first.
No more than 3 pieces of flatware should be arranged on each side of the plate.
Forks, (except cocktail fork) should be set at left of plate with prongs up.
Cocktail fork, if needed, is placed on the plate or at extreme right.

Knives and spoons are set to the right of plate. Knife blades should be turned toward the plate. (Do not set steak knives.)
If the salad course is to be served early in the meal, the salad fork should be set to the left of the dinner (main course) fork; both are set to the left of the plate.
If a soup is to be served, the soup spoon is set on the right, further from the plate than the knife and teaspoon.

Dessert utensils (fork and teaspoon) are to be set above the main plate horizontally   (bowl of spoon faces left; the fork below, with tines facing right).

Bread knives or spreaders are not required, but, if used, they should lay across the bread and butter plate.
If an Asian menu is planned and chopsticks are to be used, they should be set in addition to American utensils, and placed above the plate. Asian soup spoons may set above the chopsticks.

A large plate, called a place plate or charger, can be added to a formal setting. If used, it should be set about 1 inch from the table’s edge. Bread and butter plates are set above the outside fork.
A salad plate, if needed, is set to the left of the forks or on top of the dinner/meal plate.
Cups and saucers are set on the right of the knives and spoons or above the setting to the right, cup handles turned to right.

Glasses of any kinds – water, wine, juice, iced tea – are set at the top right of the     dinner plate, above the knives and spoons.
Glasses designed for certain types of wine may be included in your table setting. If only one type of glass is available, it is considered correct regardless of the type of wine provided. Glasses may be set at a 45 degree angle from the water goblet, in a straight line or triangle formation.



For Informal Table Settings

Informal dinner tables do not follow a specific set of rules like those governing formal ones. For example, mats or runners may be used as well as a tablecloth (informal tablecloth drop from table’s edge is 8-12 inches), and napkins may be creatively folded in any way that makes sense to the exhibitor. However, tableware, flatware, and glassware should be provided for all items that appear on the menu.

Click here to see both diagrams: Diagrams CCT

Creative Colorado TableSettings
Policies and Procedures

To be acceptable for entry in the Creative Colorado TableSettings Competition and Show, all entries must be consistent with the following:

No entries that violate copyright or licensing laws will be accepted. Entries that reproduce in any way work or designs that carry a registered trademark or constitutes the work of someone other than the Exhibitor will be disqualified.

Because Creative Colorado TableSettings 2016 is a family-oriented event, all entries must be free of content and innuendoes that the Coordinators deem inappropriate for family viewing. Entries that do not comply will be disqualified and removed from the competition and show.

All decisions made by the CCT’s judging teams will be considered final. The Estes Park Museum Friends & Foundation, Inc. will not re-open judging to accommodate entries set up after the set-up period closes.

The Exhibit Hall will be locked at the close of each Show Day. At the end of the show, Exhibits cannot be removed from the premises unless the program coordinators have approved a release slip.

Reasonable precaution will be taken in protection of exhibits, and show-goers will be admonished not to touch any of the table settings. However, where family heirlooms or other valuable items are being used, the exhibitor should consider arranging his or her own insurance against theft, damage, or loss. The YMCA of the Rockies provides 24-hour security.

The Estes Park Museum and the Estes Park Friends & Foundation, Inc. will not be responsible for accidents or loss that many occur to any of the exhibitors or exhibits at the show, and the exhibitors shall hold the management harmless and indemnify it against any legal proceedings arising from such accident or loss. Presentation of the signed entry form during the registration process shall be deemed to show acceptance of this rule.