Every year the Belmont Fair Book is dedicated to a person or group of people who have been involved in keeping the annual school and community fair going strong. This year the book has been dedicated to Ron and Jean DeBuhr and family, Wayne, Marcia, Sheila and Brandon.
The DeBuhr family have many great memories from the fair, from exhibiting dairy cattle, creating floats for the parade to the yummy turkey and dressing sandwiches.
Ron and Jean grew up outside of Belmont on dairy farms and went to country school together at Leslie School and later at Belmont High School.
“We are probably the only ones that can say that our fathers went to Leslie School, both of us went to Leslie and all of our kids went to Leslie too,” Ron stated.
Jean’s family also raised turkeys and can remember the day she was allowed to skip school to help her father deliver those turkeys to the surrounding area during Thanksgiving time.
They were married in 1970 and purchased the farm from Ron’s father in 1988, milking 80 registered Holsteins. Another farm purchased in 1980 was used to house young stock. They sold the cattle eight years ago.
Ron and Jean were both in 4-H and that tradition was passed down to their children, Wayne, Marcia, and Sheila, who all participated in the Mound View 4-H Club of which Ron and Jean were organizational leaders for several years.
“It was a lot of fun when everyone went to the Belmont Fair,” Jean enlightened.
They remembered when the fair was located at the current Ken Leahy Park, where there would be horse pulls.
“They used to have a new picket fence there. I would lean on it and the next day my mom would give me a look because my shirt had red stripes all down the front of it from the fence stain,” Ron chuckled.
Participating in the fair was not only something Jean and Ron remember but their kids have fond memories of it too.
All three took cattle to the dairy show. Marcia and Sheila recall having to run from the dairy show to the clothing style show inside the gym then back out again.
“Everything on the farm and showing cattle through the years has always been very much a family affair. We all helped and worked together which I have always thought was pretty awesome,” Marcia said.
Each remember participating in class and 4-H floats, spending hours stuffing chicken wire with napkins then spray painting them to create masterpieces.
“Ever since I was a very little kid, the Belmont Fair was never complete without having multiple turkey and dressing sandwiches at one of the locations downtown. For many years it was at Rebel’s and then later and today at the Sport’s Page and My Turn Pub. That tradition remains yet today,” Wayne said.
Sheila is thrilled to see her son, Brandon, participate in the many fair activities this year as a freshman at Belmont High School and as a member of the Pleasant View 4-H Club.
“He is excited to be able to partake in all of the High School fair activities like Stunt Night, selling fair tickets, working at his class fair food stand and playing in the pep band during the fair games. I love how the Belmont Fair is truly an entire community fair,” Sheila wrote.
Even with everyone’s busy lives, the DeBuhr family keeps volunteering to help the fair.
Ron is proud of the dairy show that the Belmont Fair has. Being on the Dairy Committee for a number of years he brags that it might not be the biggest dairy show but they do have the best quality.
“All the kids bring their best animal they showed at every fair during the summer to our fair,” Ron explained.
Marcia helps keep all those quality animals safe and healthy because she has been the veterinarian for the fair for the last 21 years. She has also participated on the Dairy and Horse Committees as well as judging the arts and crafts.
Wayne served on the fair board in the past and has assisted with the dairy show for many years as the ring man, judging the show twice. Sheila and Jean have both helped take in exhibits inside in the Arts & Crafts department.
“Everyone is busy with every day activities but they find time to do things for the fair,” Ron said.
“I think everyone appreciates it and looks forward to it. Every community has an activity for the year and this is Belmont’s,” Jean added.
The DeBuhr family was surprised by the call from the fair board about being selected. They feel both honored and humbled because they know so many people do so much for the fair year after year.
“To me the Belmont Fair is so unique, and I don’t know another school and community that comes together so well to put on a great few days of events. The fair is a tradition and even if people have moved away from Belmont, it is a time that draws many back to see friends and family and catch up and reminisce of the “good ‘ole days” growing up together,” Wayne concluded.