50th Anniversary Speech – July 19, 2003
Tonight before our Antique Tractor Parade the Cecil County Fair Board would like to take this opportunity to recognize a few people who have shown outstanding devotion to Cecil County. Many people have been a part of the making this fair successful for the past 50 years. If I were to stand here and name them all, it would take until midnight and I would still probably miss a few. The three men and one woman standing here tonight were all a part of the first fair on July 31, 1954. It began as a 1 day event and has since grown into a 10 day event that showcases the best of Cecil County. The entire fair is run by a board of volunteers that puts an incredible amount of time and effort into making this fair happen. I’d like you all to give a round of applause to our current fair board for all of their time and effort. Now I’d like to recognize our honored guests.
Mr. Walton Mason served as part of the grounds and entertainment committee for the first fair and later became a member of the fair board of directors and served on the board for 11 years. In the 1970s he served two terms as county commissioner and for each of the fair’s 50 years he has served the fair in some capacity, whether it be as head of the Calvert Grange, as a 4-H leader, as a judge, or as part of some fair committee. Mr. Mason is one of the few who can say that he has served the Cecil County Fair for 50 years. Perhaps his most important contribution was his involvement in the founding of the fair itself.
Mr. Grove Miller served as a member of the fair board for the first fair as a representative for the Calvert district. Grove went on to serve as a fair board member for 22 years. He served as vice-president for 4 years and as president for 3 years. Grove has consistently contributed to the fair for 50 years and his son Al, currently serves as our Vice President. Grove also represents Cecil County as the president of the Maryland State Fair in Timonium. The Miller family has been one of the greatest contributors to the Cecil County Fair over the past 50 years.
Mrs. Thelma Rothwell along with Grove Miller was a member of the original 12 member Cecil County Fair Board of Directors. We would like to recognize her contribution to the fair thank her for her years of service.
Not enough can be said about our next award recipient, Mr. Howard Skinner. Howard is the only person who can say that he has been at the Cecil County Fair just about every hour of every fair for the last 50 years. Not only that, but he has been in charge of setting up and taking down the fair for all 50 years as well. I don’t feel that any single man has contributed as much to the fair as Howard Skinner. He keeps these grounds running smoothly and solves so many problems that most of us don’t even know about. When anyone needs something done they know to go see Howard and he will take care of it. His dedication is unprecedented and I am honored to give him this award recognizing his contributions.
Finally tonight, I would like to recognize one last person. Without him this fair would not be where it is today. It is a great accomplishment to start a fair, but it may even be a greater accomplishment to keep it going. Ever since he moved to Cecil County in the late 1960s he has been involved with the Cecil County Fair. Elected to the fair board in 1970, no one in the 50 years of the fair has served on the fair board longer than this man, and after 34 years he still is involved in just about every aspect of putting this fair together. In 1974 he was elected vice president of the fair and served that position until 1985 when he was elected president. A position which he still serves today. Even Howard says, “Carl’s the boss.” Please give a round of applause to our fair president Carl Stafford.
Please enjoy our special events for this 50th year of the fair. Including our two displays in the Walls Building and decorations around the fair grounds. You can also purchase your 50th Annual Fair T-Shirt at the Cherry Grove booth in the Wall’s building or at the fair office on the far side of the grandstands. Enjoy the fair!!!