Donald Rex Jaqua, Sr.
Jan. 25, 1898 – Apr. 24, 1983
In 2005 the Rural Olympics Hall of Fame selection committee chose Donald “Jake” Jaqua, Sr. to be the first recipient of the Golden Hay Hook award. As Bill Gillis so aptly stated in his May 1, 1983 column:
“There’s no one who would dispute that Jake was the ‘father of the Antelope Valley Fair,’ the driving force behind the founding of the Antelope Valley Fair and Alfalfa Festival in the late 30’s and 40’s.”
Others simply referred to him as the “father of the Rural Olympics.”
On September 9, 2005 during a break in the Rural Olympics, Don’s granddaughter Janine Simi, fifth from left, accepted the Golden Hay Hook Award on behalf of the Jaqua family. Pictured are Don’s family members and AV Fair personnel from left to right: Announcer Larry Naston, Director Mathew Jimmink, great-grand daughter Chenin Dow, Fair Board President Lee Roy Halley, Janine Simi, great-grand children Tylor Simi, Sarah Wolleson, Travis Jaqua, Amanda Wolleson, granddaughter Marcy Jaqua, Director Darth Eliopulos, Director Stephen K. McElroy, and Rural Olympics Hall of Fame Chairman Bill Rawlings.