By Philip Case
Across the last quarter-century, Patti Cross has become synonymous with the Franklin County Fair and Horse Show.
Now in her second term as president of the event that will take place at Lakeview Park July 17-21, Cross has been on the board since 1992.
In addition to coordinating the entire fair, she, among other things, prepares the catalog containing all important information about events. She’s also director of the premier first-night Miss Franklin Fair Queen pageant.
“I learned to open my mouth when we lived in Bardstown and never stopped,” Cross said. “I was a member of the Welcome Wagon there, the fair board, and the Bardstown Woman’s Club.”
When Cross and her husband, Al, moved to Frankfort, she continued her involvement in volunteer opportunities. That led to serving with the Franklin County Fair, which was facing some challenges at that time; Capital City Woman’s Club; Habitat for Humanity; planning and zoning boards; and chair of the Architectural Review Board.
Her involvement in the Capital City Woman’s Club quickly took her to the top of the local organization. She became governor of the Kentucky Federation of Women’s Clubs.
An only child from Leitchfield in Grayson County, she makes the trip there twice a week to check on her dad. Her mother died in March.
“I stay busy,” she said.
At 64, Cross says she finds a great deal of satisfaction in working with the fair — otherwise, she wouldn’t continue.
“I like working with people to bring them together,” she said. “It’s a big week of entertainment, lots of activities and fellowship.
“Al and I don’t have any children and I enjoy having a week with lots of children running around.”
The Crosses have one dog, Henry, a West Island white terrier, who’s their constant companion.
Cross works on the fair all year, she said. Preparing the catalog is a daunting task, and this year she’s had to do it a couple of times to make adjustments to suit the printer.
Cross also runs her own company, PC Publications, but she only has one paying customer. All the work she does for the fair is at no charge.
Having made something of a lifelong commitment to volunteering, Cross also said more people are needed to work on the fair board.
“Not just people who want their names in the program,” she emphasized, “but those who love the fair — or want to love the fair — and are willing to demonstrate that through work.”
Cross says the 25 years with the fair in all sorts of volunteer roles has been rewarding.
“I have a lot of memories and I’ve seen a lot of changes across that time. It’s nice to be part of an event that brings the community together in the summer.”