What's Happenin'

A Sidelines blog


April 24, 2012 By: billt Category: What's Happenin'


            DEVON, Pa.—Thousands of volunteers work year-round on the Devon Horse Show and Country Fair, and each year two of them serve as Chairman.

Each Chairman serves for two years, with the beginning of their service years alternating.

This year’s Country Fair Chairmen are Mrs. Albert F. (Debbie) Martin, who also served last year, and Mrs. John M. (Candy) Guinan, who will serve this year and next.

While each chairman only serves for two years, so that it’s not such an onerous task, often the same people are tapped again for the job a few years after their terms are up.

This is true of Martin, who previously served in 1990-’91, and Guinan, who served in 2001-’02.

Martin, who has volunteered atDevonfor 36 years, was asked by a friend in 1976 to help grill hot dogs in the Hot Dog Booth.

Both her Mother and Father began volunteering shortly after.

Today, her husband, son and daughter all volunteer with her, and her daughter is now Chairman of the Soda and Ice Cream Booth

.           “A friend invited me to a Devon party, and I joined (as a volunteer) immediately when I met the people,” said Guinan, of how she became involved 25 years ago.

“Little kids come here and end up as volunteers,” said Guinan. “For instance, Viola Bement, who was 90 on April 21, has volunteered since she started as an 8-year-old selling lemon sticks.”

Chairmen will often work in different booths to get the full flavor ofDevon.  Martin has worked in the Hot Dog Booth, theDerby, Information, Soda and Ice Cream, and Cafeteria, as well as onDevonpre-events such as Black Tie and Boots Ball and House Tour, while Guinan has served on antiques, souvenirs, hot dogs, midway and concessions.

The Country Fair offers boutiques and rides and delicious foods for every palate, plus there are contests for hats, dresses and dogs, plus special back barn tours, so there are special events for each member of the family.

Boutiques offer a vast selection of goods from trendy clothes to men’s and women’s sports wear, often appliquéd with a horse or dog design, handbags, shoes, hats, belts, blankets, Alpaca coats and wraps beautiful gold, silver and turquoise jewelry, fine paintings, prints and sculptures, antiques, designer eyewear, children’s clothes, toys and games, needlework, pottery, home décor, souvenirs and collectibles as well as, of course, tack shops.

At the Country Fair, from the Ferris wheel high above the show grounds, to carousel horses and rides of all description to classic games of shoot the duck and throw the ball, there are rides and games for children of all ages.

Hot dogs and hamburgers vie with pizza and soft drinks and ice cream, while in the Garden Cafe, every afternoon and evening there’s a different selection of gourmet foods, including fine wines, that can be enjoyed in comfort in the pavilion.

Then, of course, there’s the famousDevonfudge and lemon sticks.

The amount of food served annually is huge.

Last year, 1,400 pounds ofDevonfudge was sold, over 12,000 hamburgers, over 9,000 hot dogs and 37,056 scoops of ice cream fed the throngs that attend the show.