Osceola County Community Embraces Family Traditions At Marion Fair

A fair with family traditions going back generations.

Saturday was the final day of the Marion Fair.

The fair has been a favorite in the community for more than 70 years and this year it was back for another year of memories.

9&10’s Megan Woods spoke to families who are continuing to pass down Marion Fair traditions.

“It’s great because everyone has these fond memories, multi-generational.”

For some, like Anne Wilson the superintendent of still exhibits at the fair, being part of the Marion Fair was seemingly their destiny, even before they were born. She says, “It was my great-great grandfather Billy Jones that donated this entire property to the village of Marion at the time it was called the Billy Jones Memorial Veterans Park.”

For others, like Doug Bontekoe the superintendent of dairy farm at the fair, it’s a special tradition a father passes on to his kids. He says, “My father showed here years ago it’s been going on 70 plus years it’s the first fair when I was a kid I used to show here a little while ago and now my kids are back doing it.”

Bontekoe’s daughter Isabell says, “Us Bontekaoes have been a part of this fair for forever it’s a lot to live up to. I mean my dad and grandpa they’re really good at what they do and I try to do the best I can to be as good as them. I’ve always thought if I ever have kids I always wanted to take them to the fair.”

Creating multigenerational memories for an entire community

Doug Bontekoe says, “We were at the sale the other night, a couple people that came up to me and said they remember when I sold animals and I didn’t recognize them but that was a few years ago and they had bid on my kids animals.”

There’s no doubt many more years of traditions are still ahead.

Bontekoe says, “The biggest tradition is having fun at the fair and making memories that can last, memories they can tell their children too is always one of the best things.”