Henefer couple to serve as grand marshals of Summit County Fair
August 4, 2018
When LaNae Ovard learned that the Summit County Fair board had chosen her and her husband, Everett, to serve as this year's grand marshals she was "totally amazed."
"I never pictured us doing that and doing it together," she said. "One of our kids asked: Well how come they chose you? And you know, I don't really know."
The fair board typically chooses people who have been involved with the fair for many years to serve in the role. The Ovards have each spent nearly 40 years volunteering for the junior livestock sale, with LaNae serving as secretary and Everett helping with the sale invoices.
"I guess they decided because of our involvement with the sale we deserved to be chosen," she said.
The Ovards are longtime Henefer residents, with Everett living there his whole life. They have six children, 17 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. They currently own and operate Diamond O Livestock with their son and grandson on property formerly owned by both of their grandfathers.
LaNae grew up on Chalk Creek Road and fondly remembers helping her father show Jersey cows, a small breed of dairy cattle. As a kid, she and her siblings would teach the calves to lead before taking them into the fair for show.
"I could remember that he was always a big fan of the fair," she said of her father. "He loved it."
She stayed involved as an adult, participating in the home arts exhibits and submitting her crocheting. Several of the Ovards' six children also participated in 4-H horse shows and other projects.
The Ovards have watched the junior livestock sale evolve into what it is today: one of the biggest in the state. LaNae said she remembers when the sale would only last a little more than an hour and bring in around $40,000. Now it lasts up to five hours and nets more than 350,000.
The grand marshal appointment is particularly special to the couple for several reasons. LaNae's father served in the same post more than 20 years ago. The Ovards will appear at several events throughout the fair's duration, including the parade on Aug. 11, which happens to fall on the couple's 59th wedding anniversary.
"I'm just surprised they asked both of us," she said. "I guess it is pretty special when you think about it." The 2018 Summit County Fair, a tradition for more than 50 years, is set to begin its seven-day run this weekend at the county fairgrounds in Coalville. It was scheduled to start Saturday and will last through Aug. 11.
Nothing represents a county fair better than the Grand Marshal. Annually, the Fair Board is honored to have one of Summit County’s most revered citizens serving as Grand Marshall.
The Fair Board of Directors selects a Grand Marshal to represent the Fair, in the spring of every year. The Grand Marshal is selected for his or her lifetime service to the Summit County community and the fair. Nominees must be Summit County Residents.