COLUMBUS -- The 2013 butter display at the Ohio State Fair celebrates the 50th anniversary of the All-Ohio State Fair Youth Choir and pays tribute to its founder, Glenville D. Thomas.
One Ohio State Fair tradition salutes another as the iconic butter cow and calf share their new display case with a heroic butter bust of Thomas and 60 choir members, sculpted in butter to represent the thousands of youth who were members of the choir throughout the last five decades.
The display also includes a piano and accompanist, all sculpted from butter.
The All-Ohio State Fair Youth Choir was founded in 1963 by Thomas, a music educator from Zanesville, Ohio, to give high school vocalists the opportunity to share a musical experience similar to that of the All-Ohio State Fair Band.
Under the leadership of Thomas, the choir, which at one point boasted more than 300 members, served as an ambassador for the State of Ohio.
After performing for hundreds of thousands of Ohio State Fair visitors each summer, Thomas led the choir in annual European singing tours and many national parades.
In 1975, the All-Ohio State Fair Youth choir marched in the Tournament of Roses Parade, making them the first known marching choir. The choir was asked to return in 1978, 1981, and 1988 for repeat performances.
The group was also the first-ever choir to sing in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in 1975 which included a pre-show performance atop the World Trade Center.
Thomas and the choir also performed at the New York World's Fair, appeared on several national and local TV and radio programs, and sang for President Nixon at the White House.