Woman enjoys being with family on Kiddie Day at fair for 45-plus years



Lorene Baughman has attended the Jackson County Fair since she was 9.

Her mother took her to the fairgrounds in Brownstown to enjoy side shows, fortune tellers, taffy and more.

Now, for at least 45 years, the 87-year-old woman who lives in the Ratcliff Grove area has passed on her love of the fair to her family members.

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Each year, they come together on Kiddie Day, which is Wednesday at the midway.

"Just to know they are all here and enjoying it," Baughman said of her family, tears welling in her eyes.

For the second straight year Wednesday, the Baughmanville Camp was set up in a shady spot on the side of Building 4 close to the midway. That’s at least the third place the family has camped during Kiddie Day over the years.

Baughman sits in her "fair chair" while her family members head out to the midway for rides and games. She has three children, 10 grandchildren, 30 great-grandchildren and eight great-great-grandchildren.

Several years have passed since Baughman joined them on the rides.

"I used to, but there are too many, I can’t keep up with them, " she said, smiling.

Briana Baughman said she appreciates her grandmother covering the costs for everyone to have fun. She said Lorene saves changes year-round to help with that expense.

"Think about all of these kids, they get to come here knowing whether they have money or not, they can come here and Mamaw’s taking care of it," Briana said. "For one day of the year, they don’t have to worry about that. They can just come and have fun for free. That’s how important it is for her. It’s a priority to be here, that’s for sure."

Lorene also brings coolers of water and cold towels in case anyone gets hot or feels sick after riding rides.

"We’re fair rats, " Briana said, smiling. "It’s just something we’ve always looked forward to. I’ve called in to work before because they wouldn’t give me the day off, and I’m like, ‘Well, sorry. I’m coming.’"

Briana’s brother, Eric Baughman, said he makes sure to ask off for work for that day each year.

"I’ve just never missed," he said, noting "the community of the family" is why he makes it a priority.

Their mother, Donna Baughman, said whoever is able to make it gets together around holidays, but the most people typically show up for Kiddie Day.

"I think on Wednesday, most of the reason most of us come is because of Mamaw," she said, tearing up. "And she pays for everyone."

Lorene’s daughter, Dianna Kreutzjans, said one of her highlights is when Lorene was featured on television with WAVE 3 meteorologist Kevin Harned when he was at the fair.

"We love it all," Kreutzjans said of spending time with family on Kiddie Day. "The family gets together here more than they do at home when we have cookouts. They come here, so it’s like a little reunion. Most of all, it’s just the memories that they’ll have from it."

Family members who live in Scott and Washington counties were among those who showed up Wednesday.

That included Elizabeth Lonsberry of Little York and her sons, Mason, 7, and Landon, 3, along with her brother, Daymond Reynolds of Scottsburg, and his kids, Ryland, 5, and Lakin, 3.

"I didn’t have any brothers, so I had three cousins around my age, and us boys would all come to the fair together and ride around and ride all the rides that I didn’t want to ride with my sister," Daymond said.

"Growing up in Scottsburg, we didn’t really have time to hang out a lot with cousins, so it was a day you knew you would run around with your cousins and do whatever you wanted and have fun," Elizabeth said.

Now that they have kids of their own, the siblings like seeing them carry on the family tradition.

"Oh, they love it, especially the last couple years with Ryland being 5, he’s just now riding rides and getting it," Daymond said. "He was talking about the Scrambler and the Ferris wheel already on the way over here today, so that was really neat."

Their mother, Amber Garriott of Little York, has two other kids and seven grandkids, so she said she likes watching them all have a good time on Kiddie Day.

"That’s the most enjoyable part coming is I like standing and watching them. The expression on their face of laughing while they are riding a ride, that’s the fun part," she said.

"I brought three babysitting kids with me, and their parents don’t normally bring them here," she said. "I think they are going to remember it because they were talking before they came, they said, ‘Do you remember last year when you brought us, we rode that ride?’ and I’m like, ‘Yeah.’

One of the boys said last year was the first time he got to see a cow at the fair.

"It’s fun just because it’s something that we all get to do together, and it makes memories," Garriott said.

Rain or shine, she said the family is at Kiddie Day every year.

"We’ve come here and sat underneath the canopy until the rain has passed," she said. "When I was little, you wore clothes you didn’t care if they got muddy or wet. You wore them for the weather. It’s a fun time. It’s a really good time, and it makes a lot of memories that you can sit around and talk about along with all of the other holiday activities and memories and stuff. It’s just one more time to get together."

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