Westport After he was honored, Ernie LaPine quickly got back to being the voice of the Essex County Fair.
Calling out for fairgoers to make their way to the Haulin’ Junk Rollover Contest with his familiar inflections and tone, LaPine quickly continued working for the annual event that he said was part of his life.
“It’s my life, it’s in my blood,” an emotional LaPine said as he was honored as the person to whom the 2011 Essex County Fair was dedicated to. “It has been a fun part of my life for 40 years, and I thank the board for this honor.”
LaPine was the fair manager for 20 years, and has worked with the fair since, starting out as a ticket taker at the front gate in 1971.
“Just about every building that is here, Ernie has painted,” Irwin Borden Jr., who presented LaPine, said. “This fair is dedicated to him not just because of all of the work that he has done on the fairgrounds, but his dedication to the community as well. It is nice to dedicate this fair to someone who does good things.”
LaPine also took time to recognize those who had helped him throughout his time at the fair.
“Without Ray (Tefoe), this fair would not run,” LaPine said.
LaPine also took time to thank his long-time “running partner,” Lyn Lobdell along with his wife, Alta, both of whom he asked to join him in cutting the ribbon to officially open the 163rd annual Essex County Fair.
“This fair has been a part of Lyn’s life for as long as it has been in mine,” LaPine said. “Alta has backed me for all of these 40 years.”