Born in Hollister in 1926, Marie moved to Watsonville after she married her husband Charles. That first fair she went to was a little different from today’s fair, but then, she says, times have changed as well. “I bought my first stove at the Santa Cruz County Fair. I also bought a washing machine,” she said. “Fairs have changed an awful lot. It used to be, years ago, stores that sold appliances would set up a booth and sell washers, dryers, stoves - all sorts of things.”
Skov grew up on a farm in Gilroy, the oldest of five children and the only boy was the youngest of the bunch. “So I had to help my dad. I bucked hay, cleaned the cow barn, ran the horses, irrigate the crops. I did just about everything,” she said. So when it came to exhibiting at the fair, she was ready. She initially got involved with exhibiting through her children’s involvement in 4-H. Skov led the Freedom 4-H club for about 20 years. Along the way, she started entering her canned goods; fruits, vegetables and especially preserves. And it wasn’t too long before she took over as chairperson of the Home Arts Department in the Crosetti Building
Skov says the children are the most fun to watch as they bring their entries in. “I used to love to watch the kids show the sheep,” she said. “And I still really enjoy them. I love to see the smile on their faces when they come in with arts and crafts - so excited and so happy, it gives me joy to see those children come in.”
Marie, now 84, says that volunteering at the fair kept her busy and active, which is important as you age. “I’m a great believer that you should keep busy. I don’t mean to work till you drop, but you should have something to do and not just sit in front of the tube.” She spent 46 years volunteering here at the Santa Cruz County Fair.
“I’m very proud of our fair, very proud,” she said. “Our grounds are beautiful and clean and there’s entertainment all day. It’s a beautiful fair.