Joe Goebel and Sandy House received recognition during the Indiana Association of Fairs convention. Supplied photo

Wayne County 4-H Fair volunteers donate many hours each year without expecting any recognition and will continue to do so at the June 22-29 fair. 

However, fairgoers might want to know that a longtime volunteer received recognition earlier this year from a state organization that’s now led by another local resident.   

Joe Goebel of Richmond was inducted in the Hall of Fame for Indiana Association of Fairs (INAF) during the organization’s convention. 

At that same gathering, Sandy House of Economy, who is president of Wayne County’s fair committee, was inducted as INAF’s president.  

Local fair organizers nominated Goebel for his hard work with veterans at the fair and tending gates for many years, among many other contributions.  

Joe Goebel of Richmond was inducted in the Hall of Fame for Indiana Association of Fairs (INAF) during the organization’s convention. Supplied photo

“He’s quite our gate master,” House said. “He’s put a lot of time in.” 

Goebel also stops traffic and stands at attention when the national anthem is being played, which House said is great for kids to see.  

Only four people are inducted into the hall of fame each year — one from each of the state’s four districts. 

Trying to keep Goebel’s award a secret, House said she asked him to go to the convention to see her inducted as president. It was his first time to attend.

“It was really fun to be able to surprise him,” House said. 

House was inducted into INAF’s Hall of Fame in 2023. 

The association’s members include festivals, carnivals, food vendors and entertainers.

Its purpose is to encourage growth of all fairs, festivals and events throughout the state. House said the organization also works with legislation that helps improve events. 

The organization isn’t connected with Indiana State Fair, but INAF does work with its organizers, House said.  

Sandy House was inducted as INAF’s president. Supplied photo

House has previously served as an INAF district director and has attended its conventions for 30-some years.  

During her time as president, she said she’ll try to visit as many fairs as she can.  

House said it’s great to network through INAF with like-minded individuals and groups to get rejuvenated and gather ideas for the local fair. They also discuss ideas, concerns and topics such as safety training. 

There’s at least one additional local connection to INAF: Poor Jack Amusements, which is based in western Wayne County, won the Associates’ 2019 Distinguished Service Award. 

Share this:

A version of this article appeared in the June 19 2024 print edition of the Western Wayne News.

Millicent Martin Emery is a reporter and editor for the Western Wayne News.