Three newly-appointed members of the Dixon May Fair’s board of directors are shaking up California’s oldest fair.
Governor Jerry Brown recently appointed Fairfield’s Rev. David Isom along with Dixon residents Roy Gill and Dana Martin to the board, marking the first change in its make-up in several years, fair officials announced in a press release.
Gill, a farmer who was born and raised in Dixon, returns to the board after a four year absence. He previously served for 16 years before stepping down.
“I realized how much I missed not being on the board and participating in the fair,” Gill said. “We have very fond memories. It was always a part of our lives. Every year, everyone looked forward to the May Fair. You always knew what you were going to be doing on Mother’s Day because you were either showing something at the fair or doing another activity there.”
The May Fair is in Gill’s blood. His mother, Muriel, ran the fair’s Junior Horse Show for several years, and his father, Bob, served on the board for nearly twenty years.
Martin, whose family owns Dixon Florist and Gift Shop, also grew up going to the May Fair, where she showed lambs.
“Those were good times. Growing up in Dixon, even at a younger age before you could show animals, the one thing you waited for in Dixon was the May Fair,” she said.
Martin’s three daughters followed in her footsteps and have been showing animals at the fair since grade school.
While budget cuts have threatened fairs across the state, Martin has vowed to keep Dixon’s May Fair going.
“I want to make sure we don’t lose the Dixon May Fair,” she said. “I want it to continue on for my kids, my grandkids and all of Solano County.”
Isom, a senior pastor at St. Stephen Christian Methodist Episcopal Church and Fairfield Unified School District trustee, hopes to increase the fair’s exposure in the county.
“I believe this is something families can really get something out of,” Isom said. “…It’s important there are some wholesome family alternatives for entertainment and it’s not something expensive.
“With the economy and not having a lot of choices out there, this is a great choice for families and you are supporting the local community and learning more about your local community. It’s a good way for people to know what they have in their own backyard.”
Earlier this year, former board members Ray McCluskey, Garland Porter, Hendrick Crowell and Sue Vaccaro ended their terms. A replacement for Crowell has yet to be announced.
Isom’s term will end in 2013, while Gill and Martin will serve until 2015.