Harry and Ruth Cannon have been selected as the 2013 City of Comer Christmas Parade Grand Marshals.
“Their service and love for the Comer and Madison County Community were the main inspiration for this selection,” Comer officials said.
Harry and Ruth moved to Comer with their children, Kerry and Diane, from Newton County in 1967 for Harry to assume the position as the manager of the local Georgia Power Office and Operations. They purchased a home in Comer and immediately became involved in the Comer Baptist Church with Harry serving over the years on numerous positions on staff and committees with the church. Ruth, in addition to being a homemaker raising the two daughters, held part-time positions at the Comer Elementary School and Comer City Hall. Later she owned and operated a clothing store in downtown Comer.
Many in the county, however, will recall Harry and Ruth’s involvement with the Comer Lions Club and the Madison County Fair. Harry joined the club over 46 years ago in 1967 shortly after moving to Comer and has held almost every office within the organization as well as being a leader in the Lions Club sponsored annual Madison County Agricultural Fair.
During the 60s, when Harry first got involved with the club and the fair, the fair consisted of all locally constructed rides. Club members operated all the rides and manned all the entertainment booths. Ruth recalls that “there were large tents for exhibits and one for adults to play bingo while the kids were turned loose to enjoy the family atmosphere.”
Jobs at the fair included operating the six-cylinder Chevy engine powered handmade Ferris Wheel that still stands today as an icon of service of many dedicated Lions Club members over the years. Other rides included a used merry-go-round powered by a two-cylinder John Deere engine, a boat ride for the small kids and a homemade train with tracks and a tunnel. There was even a live round .22 shooting gallery where folks could pay to try to knock off moving ducks and stationary targets.
In the early 70s the handmade equipment was sold and the club began to contract with commercial amusement companies to provide entertainment on the midway. But still today the Madison County Fair is noted for maintaining its family-style atmosphere, local leaders said.