HERMISTON - Commitment to family, community and youth are qualities the Umatilla County Fair board is looking for when it selects a grand marshall.

Chuck Wilcox of Hermiston exemplifies those qualities, said Don Miller, emcee and board member, as he announced Wilcox as the 2003 Grand Marshall during a dinner Saturday night hosted by the Umatilla County Fair Board manager and staff.

Wilcox is a life-long Oregon resident and has lived in Hermiston since 1974. He and his wife, Pam, have two sons and one grandchild. He has been involved in 4-H, FFA and has served on the advisory board for Livestock shows.

"This is truly a great honor," Wilcox said. "I appreciate the thoughts of the fair board. Thanks for the honor."

A coronation of the 2003 Umatilla County Fair Court was held at the event. Brenda Iverson of Hermiston was crowned queen of the court. Her princesses are Reva Winters and Beth Sullivan, both of Hermiston, and Khami Gorbet of Pilot Rock. The court acts as ambassadors of the Umatilla County Fair at parades and events.

"The easy part is over," said Rick Colgan of Calpine, the sponsor of the fair court. "Now is the hard part. This is a great deal and I know you will do a lot of hard work."

Tom and Dorothy Hinton were recognized for a "fantastic job of supporting the fair," Miller said while serving as 2002 grand marshalls.

Butch Smith received the Volunteer of the Year award for his help in the ticket office for many years.

Miller introduced local dignitaries from surrounding towns, past and present board members, the 2002 fair court and others involved in making the fair a success. He thanked sponsors for there continued support.

The theme for the 2003 Umatilla County Fair is "Celebrating Past Traditions."

"We are a family," Miller said. "It (the fair) has gone from generation to generation."

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