The Unionville Community Fair will have a new president this coming year, after seven years under the leadership of president Jayne Shea.
Founded in 1924 by a teacher at Unionville High School as a farm show, the Unionville Community Fair has seen its ups and downs. At the start of Shea’s presidency, in 2007, the fair faced the loss of its home because of pending construction at the Unionville High School, as well as dwindling volunteers and community spirit.
In 2008, Shea’s determination and encouragement took the fair to its new home on the Willowdale Steeplechase property behind Landhope Farms, and she rallied volunteers with fresh ideas for entertainment, including the introduction of the Denim and Diamonds Dinner and Auction, and most recently, the Willowdale Pro Rodeo.
This year’s fair is being overseen by a new president, Danielle Chamberlain, who has worked beside Shea for the past six years. Chamberlain was born and raised in Lancaster County, attended the West Lampeter Fair and developed a strong love for agriculture and community.
At Unionville, she’s directed youth handcrafts, been sponsorship chair and on the Unionville Community Fair’s board of directors for the past six years. She and her family have been entering their items in the fair's contests for many years.
Chamberlain said she has a lot of ideas, but needs volunteers to bring those ideas to fruition. She plans to concentrate on education by having an on-site mobile agriculture lab for class trips, and to carry on the “green” theme by promoting recycling. Chamberlain sees the fair as an “institution whose role is to teach our youth about the importance of agriculture and the vital role we play in understanding and protecting our local farms.”