By Mark Ambrogi
Susie Day’s connection to the Marion County Fair dates to her 4-H days.
“I’m a lifelong Perry Township resident, so I grew up in 4-H (cooking and sewing) as a youngster, which is pretty common for everybody in my generation. It was like the Scouts,” said Day, a 1968 Southport High School graduate. “I’ve always gone to the Fair since I live in Beech Grove.”
She has worked at various booths at the Fair over the years. When Day was a member of the Indianapolis City-County Council, she served on the administration and finance committee, which oversees the Marion County Fair’s budget.
“I got to know different board members then,” Day said. “My husband (Harold) passed away in 2015 and in 2016, one of the board members asked me if I would be interested and I said ‘yes’. That’s how I got on and I was elected secretary at the beginning of this year. I have a few duties overseeing the office staff and maintenance man, basically overseeing the human resources portion.”
It is Day’s second year on the Marion County Agricultural Fair Association Board after being elected at the end of 2016. The 88th annual Marion County Fair runs from June 15 – 24 at the Marion County Fairgrounds.
During the Fair, Day oversees the four admission gates. Day said different community groups handle the gates, such Franklin Township Lions Club and Southport High School athletic groups.
“It’s a good little fundraiser for a group for 10 days,” said Day, who has been the Perry Township Trustee since 2014 and is seeking re-election in the fall
Day said she loves the time at the Fair.
“It keeps me out and going,” Day said. “I do it for something to fill my life. I thought, ‘This is a good thing, it’s for the kids.’ It’s just a new chapter of my life for me. I’ve probably enjoyed it more than I honestly thought I would.”
Even though Day doesn’t have much time to relax.
“I’m pretty busy, checking the gates,” Day said. “I have to direct traffic and traffic gets backed up. It’s pretty much a full-time job. I’m hopping from the time I get there until it closes down.”
Fair Board President John Gardner appreciates the long hours Day puts in.
“She will be very busy making sure that everyone can get into the fairgrounds smoothly,” Gardner said.
People are excited about the return of a roller coaster ride called the Mousetrap, Day said. In addition, Day said there is buzz about Twiggy, the water-skiing squirrel, making one last time at the Fair from June 15 – 19. The animal act operator, Lou Ann Best, is retiring the popular act after 40 years. Twiggy has been performed by several gray squirrels trained in succession over the years.
“We had record crowds last year and, hopefully the weather will cool down a bit because it gets warm out there,” Day said. “We just repaved our Midway and we’re excited about that. Before it partially paved. It’s looking good out there.”
Day served on the Beech Grove City Council from 1990 – 96 and Perry Township Advisory Board from 1997 – 2003. She served two terms for Indianapolis City Councilor, starting in 2004.