Earl McPhail to lead Saturday’s Ventura County Fair Parade

August 01, 2008
Santa Paula News
By Peggy Kelly Santa Paula TimesA Santa Paulan has been selected to lead the Ventura County Fair annual Parade on Saturday, an honor to Earl McPhail, the longtime Agricultural Commissioner who retired - at least officially - in recent weeks. The Fair Parade will march down Ventura’s Main Street at 10 a.m., featuring colorfully decorated floats, lively marching bands, car clubs, clowns, and many other community organizations.McPhail is sharing the Grand Marshal honors with local representatives of the United States military. “Commissioner McPhail has been chosen as Grand Marshal to honor his almost 30 years as Ventura County Agricultural Commissioner,” said Fair spokesman James Lockwood. “His involvement countywide illustrates the same commitment to service and community that the Fair promotes.”McPhail served on the Ventura County Fair Board of Directors for 14 years, is the current president of the Ventura County Sheriff’s Posse, and is past president of the Rotary Club of Santa Paula, where for years he conducted the annual Halloween Pumpkin Auction to raise funds for the Rotary Scholarship Fund. “Look for Earl coming down Main Street on Saturday atop his beautiful horse,” the same steed used by McPhail as a member of the Ventura County Sheriff’s Posse.The Army, Navy, Coast Guard, Air Force, and Marines will share the “honor in thanks for their courageous protection of our country,” and Lockwood said representatives from local bases would also march on Saturday. “Make sure you are present at the parade,” he added, “to cheer for our local heroes.”Known for his strong advocacy of county agriculture and housing for farm laborers, McPhail was a special guest at the January Good Morning Santa Paula, where he said, “Ag is alive and well in Ventura County and it’s going to be that way for a long time,” including crops that will replace strawberries - planted with an eye toward high value to balance the high cost of county ag property.While a student at Cal Poly Pomona in 1970, Earl and his finance Wilma discovered Santa Paula. “She loved to take long drives... we came up the 101, saw Highway 126 and cut across this beautiful valley,” an obvious haven for agriculture.
In December 1978, McPhail interviewed for Ventura County’s top ag job and discovered that the Ag Commissioner’s headquarters is in Santa Paula. “It rang a bell,” and when hired McPhail - he started the job in January 1979 - said the family “looked all over” the county to find a place to live and settled on Santa Paula.“It’s a beautiful town; you can’t beat the city, can’t beat the weather, and it’s been a pleasure to be your Ag Commissioner,” although McPhail acknowledged that there were some “ups and downs, but mostly ups” in his career. There have no such bumps in his choice of a hometown: “We know how lucky we are and we’re not moving... we’ve traveled a lot and come to the realization that can’t beat this place. We love it here, and I want to thank you lot of people in this room who helped make my job easier.”Also in Saturday’s Parade will be the Al Malaikah Shriners, back with 11 units of cars and clowns and more that are sure to entertain you. The parade will also feature eight local marching bands. St. Gabriel’s Celestial Brass Band will also march in the parade, and, “If you just can’t get enough of them,” Lockwood said, “you will be able to find them marching through the Fairgrounds most days.”For more information about the Parade or the 133rd Ventura County Fair, call 648-3376 or visitwww.venturacountyfair.org.

Site Search



Call 805 525 1890 to receive the entire paper early. $50.00 for one year.