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County fair preparation takes months of work

Event planning, ride inspection, site prep among lead-up work

By Maddie Cogan, Tribune intern

ROME TOWNSHIP — The Lawrence County Fair is “35 acres of fun,” according to Fair Board member Chris Collier.

The fair will take place from pre-fair events today, through Saturday, July 14. During this time, members around the county will participate in 4-H events, ride fair rides, and enjoy entertainment, such as the Cincinnati Circus and demolition derby, and much more.

“There’s something here for everybody,” Collier said.

Collier has been on the Fair Board for eight years.

“People ask me all the time why I do it,” Collier said. “Going to the fair was the only vacation my family had growing up and I know what it meant to me.”

The fair board starts preparing for the week-long event in February.

“We invoice vendors and campers in February,” he said. “We have 131 family campers.”

When the food vendors arrive, they show proof of insurance to Collier, then begin to set up their truck or trailer.

For rides, a state inspector comes to the fairgrounds to inspect each ride before the fair begins, to ensure each ride is in safe condition.

“It’s a lot, but all the work pays off,” Collier said.

Most years, vendors come back. This year, the Montroso family will be celebrating their 50th year as a food vendor for the Lawrence County Fair.

“Phil and Joy Montroso are great. Anything you ask of them, they are more than helpful,” Collier said. “You can learn a lot from them, because they have been in the business so long.”

Besides food trucks, other crowd favorites will be returning such as the tractor pull and the demolition derby and 18 rides.

New additions this year include adult inflatables and a rock climbing wall. The inflatables will resemble an obstacle course, according to Collier.

Another addition is a display building for crafts inside the old Fastlane Diner. Homemade crafts will be displayed by local craftspeople to buy and sell.

To Collier, the fair is “a place where kids can come and see some of the best parts of life.”