CANDY TRIPP–THE SWEETEST THING YOU’LL FIND AT THE FAIR.
Fair-time means family-time for Candy Sawyer Tripp, whose career at the Marion County Fairgrounds reaches back to 1990. Since her daughters have all worked with her in the office at one time or another, she says, “It’s like a big, family reunion each year; celebrating our county’s history – and future – with
friends and neighbors. Just imagine, in 1851, when the first fair-goers, their families, and their covered wagons lined Marion’s streets. What a sight that must have been! Look how far we have come.”
How far indeed. Candy worked diligently on bringing a diverse crowd to Marion over the years–on and off season–expanding off-season events from just four in 1990 to a combined total of 45 weeks of off-season events and fundraisers in 2016. While many of those events brings hundreds of visitors to Marion, many also enforce the Fairgrounds’ place as a significant gathering place for our community. The majority of those events are focused on students, such as the National Robotics Challenge, sports competitions, and graduations. The same goes for fair-time. With 4-H projects ranging from science and technology to showing livestock, the Marion County Fair offers an expansive list of opportunities for kids to learn, grow, and, most importantly, just have fun with those we care about.
Every story has an end; but, in life, every end is a new beginning. This rings true for the Marion County Fair Board as Candy is soon to retire. She has given a priceless amount of devotion to the Marion County Fairgrounds and to Marion County over the years, which is why she was awarded the Marion Area Convention and Visitor’s Bureau’s 2017 Tourism Ambassador Award. Cindy Wood, a lifelong resident of Marion and graduate of Ridgedale High School, will be taking over as the Secretary/Manager of the Marion County Fair Board in the fall of 2017.