Denny Grabenbauer said he normally does not like surprises - but the one he got Wednesday night was a welcome one.
Grabenbauer was caught off guard as the Central Iowa Fair board announced he is the newest member of the Central Iowa Fair Hall of Fame. The announcement was made prior to the fair queen coronation.
"It's quite an honor," Grabenbauer said.
T-R PHOTO BY ANDREW POTTER
Denny Grabenbauer was inducted in the Central Iowa Hall of Fame Wednesday night at the fair.
Grabenbauer is the former fair manager and longtime race track announcer. He has stayed involved volunteering his voice and time for several area festivals as the "Voice of Marshalltown" and also organizes the annual Fourth of July celebration and fireworks at the fairgrounds.
His connection to the fairgrounds goes back to the old site on East Main Street where he drove a race car for 20 years, before an injury in 1987 forced him out of the car. He currently is the chair of the Marshall County Board of Supervisors.
"As a kid I would go to the fair on East Main Street and always wanted to be a part of it," Grabenbauer said.
Tyler Wollam, president of the fair board, said Grabenbauer has shown his commitment in many ways through the years that has led to the success of the fair.
"Denny is one of those guys who makes magic out of everything he touches," Wollam said. "He believes in the mission of the fair board."