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Vaughan marks fair milestone

Mary Vaughan recalls past fairs while looking through photo albums at her home in Forrest / CIFN photo.

Mary Vaughan has been involved with the Livingston County Ag Fair in one way or another for the past 44 years.

The current 4-H leader and former fair board member has helped in the kitchen, overseen home economics entries and was even known as the 4-H Park “flower lady” at one point as she maintained all of the flower planters. When she first became involved with the fair, Vaughan was club leader for the Forrest Ladybugs.

“That was an all-girls club until 1999,” Vaughan recalled. “It was never an issue because there was always a club in Forrest that the boys could join too.”

The Pleasant Ridge club combined with the Forrest Ladybugs to later become the Forrest Fireflies. Vaughan often sees parents with kids at the fair who were 4-H’ers in her club years ago. She believes 4-H is a great program which every child should be in and considers it a learning experience. Modern technology has made things easier for parents and leaders.

“When I started 44 years ago, we didn’t even know what a computer was,” Vaughan joked.

Vaughan credits Tom Schahrer with getting her involved on the fair board. Schahrer’s wife, Pam, was helping Vaughan with her 4-H club at the time.

“I have tremendous memories and met so many people. Even though I’m not on the fair board, I still go down and help at the convention in Springfield with the queen pageant.”

Vaughan organized the fair talent show for about five years before the event was removed from the fair schedule since they had trouble finding enough kids to participate. The 4-H Olympics began after the talent show ended and Vaughan became involved with that. She still assists to this day.

“The kids have so much fun with that. It looks like a rainbow out there because the kids are all in different colored shirts,” Vaughan added.

When walking through 4-H Park during this year’s fair, you will likely see Vaughan somewhere. She hopes everyone comes out and has a great time. The 2018 Livingston County Ag Fair begins today (Wednesday) and runs through Saturday.

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