SIDNEY — There was something old and something new at this year’s Senior Citizens Day at the Shelby County Fair.
Joe and Jean Buroker, who have been married 75 years, once again were the longest-married couple at the fair. Joe said this is the fifth consecutive year they have received the honor.
The longest-married couple, oldest man and oldest woman attending the fair are recognized each year as part of Senior Citizens Day events.
The oldest man this year was Dick Adams and the oldest woman was Ruth Adams (no relation). They both are 95.
For several years, Lena Laughlin was the oldest woman at the fair. She died April 3 at age 109. Her obituary said she was believed to be the oldest woman in Shelby County, and also noted the recognition she got at the fair was “an award she was quite proud of.”
In announcing the Burokers as the winners, Eileen Wiseman, director of the Senior Center, joked, “Jean should get a medal for that.”
Married in 1940, the Burokers formerly lived in Champaign County. They moved here in 1967, Joe said, and still attend the fairs in both counties. “We used to be active in it,” he said of the Shelby County Fair. “We still enjoy going. … We still like horse racing.”
Senior Citizens Day activities were headquartered in the Free Entertainment Tent, where the Sidney Senior Center Singers presented a concert before awards and door prizes were given. The concert included old favorites and concluded with “God Bless America,” with the audience joining in.
Nearly every seat under the tent was filled for the concert and awards, which took place between 11 a.m. and noon. All senior were served free lunches, while supplies lasted.
The good attendance was in spite of the heat and humidity that swept over the fairgrounds. Admission to the fair was free to senior citizens on Tuesday.
Jim Bertsch, representing the Shelby County Fair Board, spoke to audience about the efforts of the Senior Center of Sidney/Shelby County in organizing the day’s events. “Give this group a hand for all the hard work they’ve done,” he said. “I appreciate you guys coming out each year.” Wiseman added that it was not just her, but her staff that made the program possible.
The writer may be contacted at 937-538-4823 and on Twitter @MikeSeffrinSDN.