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LETTER TO THE EDITOR | Our sincere thanks
To the editor:
Folks, we just completed the 85th year of the Island County Fair and it was wonderful! The approximately
20 open class and 25 4-H exhibits, 53 commercial and 22 food vendors, Bunyon Busters Log Show, kids’ mini- tractor pull, Whidbey Western Games, Homeland Security and U.S. Navy patrol dogs, and the continuous entertainment — not only on the Eva Mae Gabelein Midway and Pole Building stages, but also that provided by the fabulous roving performers — proved that the entire fair was truly a stage.
Speaking of stages, Clucky Stage in the Poultry Barn (on which Chicken Olympics was presented several times daily) won the Black and White Ribbon award for excellence by the judge from the Washington State Department of Agriculture. Our fairgrounds, buildings and restrooms were kept clean by hard-working fair staff. The grounds at the front entry and by the historic cabins, information booth and office were beautified by Brian McKenna, Becky Duthie and Freeland Ace. Medical and emergency services were provided by both Fire District 3 and Whidbey General Hospital paramedics.
The opening ceremony on Thursday was honored by the U.S. Marine Corps color guard from Naval Air Station Whidbey Island. Violist Marena Salerno-Collins played the national anthem, and Langley Mayor Paul Samuelson and Island County Commissioner John Dean gave brief welcome addresses. Of the six people who completed entries in all 17 open class departments, Molly Kay was crowned this year’s Super 17 winner. Chrissy O’Keefe was introduced as the 4-H Leader of the Year.
The fair parade on Saturday was led by Grand Marshal “Doc” Freer. It was a colorful parade with many entries, including horse and dog units, beautiful cars and floats, buses, fire trucks and walking groups. Sue Frause did her usual outstanding job as emcee.
The latest addition to our fairgrounds, and one you really could not miss, is our sparkling new barn-shaped ticket gate with the flanking silo towers. So many volunteers donated so many hours to this project! Thanks to Bob Snyder, city of Langley building inspector, who made it possible for us to open on time. Thanks, too, to Gary Whitcomb of Custom Remodel and the crews from Advanced Construction and Island Asphalt. We dedicated the new ticket booth to Gary Kay, who designed and supervised the construction, for his 25 years of outstanding service to the fair.
To all the many, many hard-working volunteer superintendents and stewards in open class, the 4-H leaders, the judges, our fair manager Sandey Brandon and her staff Kelly and Jocie, and the officers of both the Island County Fair Association and Island County Fair Board, a huge thank you for making this year’s fair one of our very best. And to the South Whidbey Record, our sincere thanks for excellent coverage not only of the big events, but also the colorful vignettes of people of all ages enjoying themselves at the fair.
Which brings me to the end of my letter of appreciation: Thank you, fairgoers, for coming to our party!
Island County Fair Association