Distinguished Service Award

 2017 Distinguished Service Award Recipient

Charles “Chuck” Rice


In 2000 the Tennessee State Fair recognized a need to honor the workers and volunteer, who go above and beyond their commitments to the fair, so the Distinguished Service Award was created to honor those people. Past recipients have been volunteers, workers, department heads, and fair managers and earlier this year with the passing of a faithful supporter of the State Fair, Mr. Hale Moss, the Tennessee State Fair Association Board decided to rename this award in his honor, which is now called the Hale Moss Distinguished Service Award. Because of Hales life long commitment not only to the Tennessee State Fair, Wilson County Fair, and to the promotion of Tennessee Agriculture, we felt the need to not only recognize him, but to honor him as well. So, moving forward all recipients of this award will be reminded of the determination, the commitment and love this great man had for all Tennessee Fairs.

This year’s recipient is Charles “Chuck” Rice, who has been a faithful, dedicated and committed supporter of the Tennessee State Fair. He sacrificed time with his family over the years and countless hours to help produce the best State Fair possible. His determination to get the job right the first time, the dedication to help others and tireless efforts to make sure fairgoers have the best experience possible.

He has been working the State Fair since he was 6 years old. His father Charlie Rice a life long fair worker himself, “Ticket Taker”, told him that if he was not up early, he would miss getting to go to the fair that day, so Chuck would wake up early and go sit in the car so he wouldn’t be left. At this early age, Chuck was paid in ride tickets which was better than gold to a young child.

In 1987 a third generation fair supporter was born, when Chuck’s daughter Mackenzie Rice entered this world. She just so happened to be born during the 1987 Tennessee State Fair. The ladies in the Women’s Building from then on always referred to Mackenzie as the “Fair Baby”. We hope you were wise enough to leave the fair to go join your wife, we assume so, or you would be here right now.

Chuck has worked the fair for over 50 Years, countless hours and numerous positions. He has been over parking for over 30 Years. Any given day you may see Chuck in a bucket truck hanging a banner or repairing a light, routing cars behind the racetrack to make more room on a busy Saturday Night or giving breaks to his parking attendant throughout the day, but one thing is for sure, you will see him at the fair!

Past Distinguished Service Award Recipients
2016 – Sally Smith
2015 – Ben Powell
2014 – Jean Lewis
2013 – Marvin Gleaves
2012 – Cherry Darken
2011 – Hale Moss, Hermitage, TN
2010 – Judy Basse, Mt. Juliet, TN
2009 – Joe and Millie Wilson, Nashville, TN
2008 – Freddie Burcham, Ashland City, TN
2007 – In Memory of Nora Strasser, Chapel Hill, TN
2006 – John Albright, Nolensville, TN
2005 – Shari Cronkhite, Nashville, TN
2004 – Frances Jackson, Nashville, TN
2003 – Doyle, Max & Bobby Stepp Wartrace, TN
2002 – Bill Coleman, Nashville, TN
2001 – June Thompson, Nashville, TN
2000 – Hershal Ligon, Old Hickory, TN