Janesville53.3°

Rock County Fairgrounds already busy with activity

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Shelly Birkelo
July 23, 2012

— Mark Wieland’s pickup truck was pulled up to the south end of Byron Swine Barn on Saturday afternoon at the Rock County 4-H Fairgrounds.

He was there to help his kids, members of Newark Pioneers 4-H Club, get ready for the fair.

“It gets very busy with tons of people lined up between 1 and 6 p.m. Monday. So we want to try to limit how long they’re in the trailer to lessen the stress on the animals,” he said.

“It’s just easier than bringing tons of stuff at once,’’ said 12-year-old Isaac Wieland.

“We brought water buckets and other stuff,” said 14-year-old Eva Wieland.

Nearby, in the dairy barn, Kim Krebs had brought nine members of Lima 4-H Club, which she leads, so they could decorate the barn and install bedding.

“We bring the animals Tuesday,” she said.

Alex Morton, supervisor of the fairgrounds maintenance crew, said their workday began at 7 a.m.

“We start the third or fourth week in May and work all summer,’’ he said.

The seven-person crew Saturday was reinstalling fans in the dairy barn that were removed for the state fair last year.

As his workday continued, Morton knew bleachers along the Memorial Drive fence had to be moved to the grandstand area to provide extra seating.

“It never ends,” he said, driving some screws into the fan awaiting installation.

And his long workdays were far from over.

“During fair week, we’ll work between 100 and 120 hours,’’ he said.

George Martin of Billie’s Baked Potatoes completed his 20-hour trip from Massachusetts to Janesville on Friday.

He had already finished washing the outside of the food trailer and had started working on preparing the inside Saturday so he would be ready for customers when the fair opens Tuesday.

“We took over the business in 2007 and have two seasonal businesses. I’ll be busy until the first week of October,” he said.

Todd Elrod and his nine-person crew from Nature’s Touch were just putting finishing touches on the garden center’s display.

“It shows what we can do for landscaping jobs,’’ he said.



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