DEVON, Pa-The Country Fair part of the Devon Horse Show and Country Fair adds boutique shopping, foods to meet every taste plus rides and games for all ages to the largest and oldest outdoor multi-discipline horse show in the United States.
Devon runs May 23 to June 2.
Mrs. John M. (Candy) Guinan and Mrs. Eric (Buttons) Corkhill are the co-chairmen of this year’s Country Fair, which boasts over 1,500 volunteers working to raise money for Devon’s beneficiary, Bryn Mawr Hospital, and those volunteers have been very successful.
Devon’s donations to Bryn Mawr Hospital is approaching $15 million, over $50 million when adjusted for inflation.
Boutiques offer men’s and women’s dressy and sporting clothing, often with a horse or dog theme, handbags, shoes, hats, belts, oil paintings, watercolors, prints and sculptures, fine gold, silver and turquoise jewelry, boots, children’s clothes, toys and games needlework, dog toys, souvenirs and collectibles and, of course, everything for the horse and rider from the tack shops.
Along the Dorset Road side of the Fair, volunteers cook up hot dogs and hamburgers, there are pizzas, wraps and fresh saladas well as ice cream and the famous Devon fudge and lemon sticks.
There is gourmet dining in the Garden Café, with a selection of fine red and white wine and daily specials.
Fresh local produce will be prepared by the Garden Café, and nearby is a 17 foot smoker for meats and barbeque.
Thursday, May 23, is Philadelphia Night, featuring cheese steaks and many favorites of Philadelphia residents.
Breakfast food, coffee and tea and the much loved tea sandwiches are offered in the boutique behind the souvenir stand.
The Ferris wheel looms over the show grounds, and beneath it are rides ranging from a merry-go-round to cars and more plus many games with prizes like huge stuffed animals.
The final Sunday, June 2, features entertainment for children, including pony rides from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., games and an itty bitty hat contest for children. Check the Devon website for more information about special events during the show.
The Devon Fair Chairmen serve two years, with the beginning of their service years alternating.
Guinan served last year, so this is her final year of this chairmanship, but she has served before, in 2001 and 2002.
For Corkhill, this is her first year as chairman and also the first time she has served in that position.
For many volunteers, Devon is a family affair, and that is certainly true of Corkhill and Guinan.
Guinan’s husband, John, volunteers at souvenirs and hot dogs, as has her daughter Mary Cate who started selling lemon sticks when she was 10 and also volunteered in souvenirs and hot dogs until she finished graduate school and moved to Chicago.
Corkhill’s husband, Eric, serves on the Trophy Committee and her daughter Katherine is a volunteer in the Art Gallery.
Volunteers are moved around so that they will learn about all the various committees, which
include art gallery, candy, concessions, Devon derby, flowers, Garden Café, grounds, hamburgers, hot dogs, house tour, information, midway, operation goldmine, programs, promotion and publicity, soft drinks and ice cream, souvenirs, sponsorship and tea cart.
Guinan has served on antiques, souvenirs, hot dogs, midway and concessions, while Corkhill
has volunteered in several booths but has been at the art gallery for the past 10 years.
The Horse Show opens with three days of junior competition in equitation, ponies, hunters and jumpers.
The Carriage Pleasure Drive, which arrives at the Dixon Oval at 2 p.m. on Sunday, opens eight days of adult competition for jumpers, hunters, carriages and gaited horses.
Pony jumpers compete on Sunday, with adult jumpers competing on Sunday evening and on Monday, Memorial Day.
Four-in-hand coaching runs Monday through Friday evenings, with the One Armed Bandit exhibition running May 29 through June 1 and the Wells Fargo stagecoach performing May 30 through June 2.
Hunters are featured during the day on Monday through Wednesday, with open jumpers competing Tuesday through Saturday, and young jumpers competing in the Gold Ring on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Hackneys, fine harness, roadster and gaited classes begin Wednesday evening, with their championships scheduled for Friday evening and Saturday afternoon and evening.
Breeding classes take over the Dixon Oval on Thursday, with Devon at Sunset, featuring driving and gaited classes at 4:15 p.m., followed by the piece de resistance, the $100,000 Wells Fargo Grand Prix of Devon at 8 p.m.
For additional seating for the Grand Prix, 21 tables will be set in the Devon Club adjacent to the Gold Ring.
Closed circuit screens will carry the entire competition from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. in the Devon Club, while patrons, at tables for six or 10, enjoy cocktails and dinner catered by The Capital Grille King of Prussia.
Amateur owner hunters and jumpers plus local hunters compete Friday and Saturday, with the Open Jumper Stake and Championship the final events on Saturday’s afternoon schedule.
The $25,000 International Hunter Derby is featured on Sunday, June 2, while tables for four or five for a Champagne Brunch are available in the Committee Stand from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Tables of four, with an optional fifth seat, are available in the Committee Stand from Thursday, May 24 through Saturday, June 1, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., also with catered breakfasts and buffet lunch plus beverage service.
To reserve any of the tables, either in the Devon Club or Committee Stand, call Meg at 610-688-2554 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
The ticket office is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon.
General admission is $10, with $5 for children and seniors. Reserved seating tickets range from $10 to $55, depending on the day and session.
Visit the website www.devonhorseshow.org for additional information.