Getting to know Southsider and Marion County Fair Board President Cindy Mowery

By Nancy Price

As president of the Marion County Fair Board, Cindy Mowery wears a lot of hats. She provides information and offers guidance regarding the fairgrounds, contracts, financial matters and buildings and grounds. In addition, she collaborates with each volunteer board member regarding planned activities and groups interested in using the grounds. During the fair season, Mowery also works with the midway team and outside concessionaires. She’s been a Wanamaker resident for more than 50 years.

Q: What do you like about volunteering with the fair?  

That’s an easy answer: the people!

To watch the faces of the kids coming in looking at the midway lights in wonderment is a true joy. Couples, families and groups of friends lose the worries of the day at the fair. You can’t replace that feeling, knowing that you’re providing enjoyment to those that attend.

Q: Tell me about your family.

I have a wonderful family! My daughter Jill, daughter-in-law (more like a daughter) Drue and her husband, Tom, as well as my four grandkids (Noah, Eli, Olivia and Adair) are very close to me. I also have two brothers and their families that I spend a great deal of time. My nephew Brian is on the city-county council, and we, along with his fiance Sydney, enjoy politics together. My niece Ashlee and her husband, Chris, have my two great-nephews, Ayden and Colven, whom I adore. The biggest part of my family, though, is Buddy, my golden retriever. He runs the house and anything that I may do!

Marion County Fair Board President Cindy Mowery with a past president, Bill Dowden. (Submitted photo)

Q: What did you enjoy about attending a county fair growing up? What about today?  

I have always loved the fair! I wasn’t big on the rides, but I loved the lights, entertainment and food and I haven’t changed a bit!

Q: What do you like to do in your spare time?     

I am the Franklin Township GOP chair and work quite a bit in local politics and with various candidates. It’s probably my biggest hobby, and as much as I hate to admit it, I thrive in a good campaign. There’s nothing like it. It’s a game of chess, and I play to win.

Q: What are some “must see” features of the fair this year you recommend to others?

You won’t want to miss the Queen Contest on opening night (July 11). The group of young women running for Queen and Princess are exceptional this year!

For kids, DinoRoar is back, as well as Robot Rangers.

Our backtrack is hosting Tony Stewart’s quarter race group, which should be a great event. We’ve updated our backtrack/grandstand area and hope people find it more entertaining!

History lovers haven’t been forgotten this year, either. We’ve brought “History on Wheels,” which is a mobile museum on Indiana’s auto industry and racing heritage.

We’re also going to have fireworks the first and second nights (July 11 and 12) of the fair, and they’re always a big hit!

Your MCF Board has made every effort to ensure a safe, fun, and affordable environment for everyone.  We look forward to seeing everyone at this year’s fair from Saturday, July 11 through Sunday, July 19!

(More information is available at or on our Facebook page, Marion County Fairgrounds and Events Center.)