Updated Wed, Jul 31, 2013 7:49 pm
The Athens County Fair may be just one week every summer, but making it happen is a yearlong effort, say those behind the scenes.
Paula Carpenter, treasurer for the Board of Directors, said there are hundreds of volunteers on committees keeping records all year.
“You have to want to do this,” she said.
Working to put on the fair takes time, effort, manpower and passion, she added.
Carpenter said that volunteering for the fair is not for everyone. It’s for those who enjoy both the work and the fair itself. She said it takes a lot of time and a lot of cooperation.
People can volunteer to be a 4-H club advisor or to be a member of the Junior Fair Livestock Committee, which is responsible for tagging, weighing, recording placings and selling animals.
Younger fair enthusiasts can join the Junior Fair Board, which is for those between the ages of 14 and 18. They, too, help throughout the year and at the fair.
Mackenzie Lowe, 16, serves on the Junior Fair Board and is a lifelong 4-H participant. She joined 4-H because it was a family tradition of sorts, but she stayed because she made a family with the people in the organization. Lowe said she cannot imagine not being in 4-H.
Lowe volunteers in various ways with 4-H and the county fair because she enjoys being involved.
“I like to make things happen,” she said.
In addition to the volunteers, Carpenter hires around 10 seasonal employees for grounds clean-up and three office workers to keep the office running during fair week.
Reid Hart, the vice president of the Board of Directors, has been involved with 4-H for 36 years.
He was in 4-H in Meigs County when he was a child, was a 4-H director while his three children were in it and is now heavily involved with the fair board.
Hart said that he volunteers because he likes to help people.
The Athens County Fair will be held Aug. 2-10. Visit www.athenscofair.org for more information.