Ian & Lyndsay Murdock Named Umatilla County Fair Grand Marshals

Ian and Lindsay Murdock speak after beingnamed 2023 Umatilla County Fair grand marshals on Saturday during the Fair Appreciation Dinner. (Photo by Yasser Marte/Hermiston Herald)

Everyone who took the stage at the Umatilla County Fair Appreciation Dinner expressed their gratitude for the hard work others have done. Even award recipients, including Ian and Lindsay Murdock, the grand marshals of the 2023 fair, thanked people other than themselves.

The event was Saturday, Jan. 28, 2023 at the Eastern Oregon Trade and Event Center.

Umatilla County Commissioner Dan Dorran, the event’s emcee, brought the Murdocks to the stage. They shook the hands of fair board members, and then they greeted Dorran, who announced the Murdocks as the fair’s next grand marshals.

Dorran credited the Murdocks for a long list of volunteer activities at the fair and in their community. The commissioner said they were two people who would never expect the title of grand marshal, even though they are deserving.

Dorran praised them specifically for mentoring students who took part in the fair. They also were animal judges, he said.

“It’s all for the kids,” Ian Murdock said of his fair work.

His wife made a slightly longer statement as ashe expressed pleasure for being a part of her community. Also, she said becoming grand marshal was “an honor my kids wouldn’t believe.”

From Dorran’s opening remarks to the announcement of the raffle winner at the event’s end, people gave thanks for volunteers, fair board members and local police. Attendees and the fair court were thanked, too. Recognition went to several other individuals and groups, as well; the cleaners, the sponsors, local 4-H clubs and more were mentioned.

Angie McNalley, fair manager, thanked fair administrators.

Dorran said the fair enjoyed great success in 2022 because of many people’s labors. The fair’s achievements included livestock sales of more than $1 million, he said, and what’s more, prices for individual types of animals reached record highs.

“What progress the Umatilla County Fair has made,” he said.

Dorran added he remembers when its triumphs were much more modest. He said he looks forward to a fair that can be even bigger and better than the 2022 one.

The 2023 Umatilla County Fair is scheduled for Aug. 9-12. Its slogan is “Watch us Grow!”

Bob Wolfe earned fair board honors. A retiring fair board member and past director, Wolfe has been “invaluable” to the fair, according to Dorran.

Rebecca Manning, chaperone for the fair court, brought 2022 and 2023 princesses to the stage. The outgoing members were Ashlynn Cutburth and Kylie Temple. Cutburth remains on the court for 2023 and is joined by Selena Cuellar, Annikah Perez and Ainsley McCann.

Volunteers of the year awards were announced next. The female winner is Beth Gehrke. R.J. Francis is the male winner. Dorran lauded each of them for their extreme willingness to complete necessary task.

Taking his award, Francis wiped his eyes and said it probably seemed odd for people to see “a big, hairy guy cry.”

The business partnership award went to Lamb Weston.

Dave Baird, volunteer, said he was “speechless” and “humbled” as he received the special recognition award.

The audience for the event clapped and cheered for these winners. The crowd, which filled most of the room’s many tables, included some of the county’s biggest government and community leaders. The Umatilla County commissioners were present, as were members of the Hermiston City Council and Hermiston City Manager Byron Smith. Val Hoxie, Hermiston Chamber of Commerce executive director was there, too.

Ryan Manning, the husband of fair court chaperone Rebecca Manning, won the event’s raffle — $657 that he donated back to the fair.

He said he didn’t need it, and he was happy to give it to a good cause.

While walking to his car at the end of the night, he said he had prior approval from his wife to give away the money.

“We had talked about what we would do if we ever won the raffle,” he said. “She said we should give it back.”


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