GREENVILLE — The Darke County Fair Board announced recently that Mike and Linda Fourman have been selected as 2018 Great Darke County Fair parade marshals.
“Mike and Linda have been 4-H advisors now for 31 years, and they love what being a youth developer is all about,” Fair Manager Brian Rismiller said in a press release. “Commonly known as ‘Grandma and Grandpa Fourman,’ their years of dedication have been as rewarding to them as to the youth they serve.”
In addition to their work as 4-H advisors for the Darke County Beef Club, the Fourmans have served on the Junior Fair Livestock Sale Committee for 15 years.
“Linda starts in June, taking registrations and getting things ready,” Mike Fourman said. “Then she works til the end of November doing all the billing.”
When asked about his own role in the proceedings, Mike – who runs a successful dentistry practice in Greenville – responded in a humble manner.
“She’s the boss,” Mike said of his wife. “I’m just her gopher.”
As marshals, the Fourmans will participate in a number of events during fair week, including the opening ribbon-cutting ceremony, a luncheon, and of course, the parade itself. Mike Fourman’s involvement with the fair goes back many years, however: he exhibited at the fair himself for 10 years as a kid, beginning in 1957. In addition, he and Linda have three sons, all of whom exhibited for 10 years as well.
The Fourmans were quick to point out, however, that everything they do for the fair, and for 4-H, is actually part of a larger team effort.
“The board tries to recognize people who have contributed to the success of the fair over the years,” Mike said of their decision to choose the Fourmans as parade marshals. “But we couldn’t do what we do without all the volunteers behind us. It’s not Mike and Linda – it’s a team led by Mike and Linda.”
Linda Fourman agreed.
“It’s so many working together that make our fair great,” she said. “This is an honor that we only wish we could share with so many great people.”
Community support is key to the fair’s success, according to the Fourmans, including the involvement of some of the smaller communities in Darke County.
“It’s not just Greenville,” Mike Fourman said. “It’s Arcanum, it’s Versailles. We have a lot of those kids in our 4-H clubs.”
And supporting those kids, according to the Fourmans, is what the fair is all about.
“We encourage people to come out and enjoy the fair,” Linda said. “The 4-H kids work hard to put their projects together, and people should come out to support them.”
“The fair has always been an important part of the community,” he said. “And it continues to be a place where our kids’ talents are put on display.”