Many helping hands go into Elkhart County Fair set up
From stocking milk machines, to pounding metal stakes into the ground, set up crews at the Elkhart County 4-H Fair work hard.
“When the first of July rolls around people start coming in to work on their building and stuff we can help with the little things,” says Greg Stump, Buildings and Ground Maintenance for the Elkhart County 4-H County Fair.
Little touch ups like painting is something Stump, who has maintained these fairgrounds for 14 years, says may be small but take major planning.
“Getting everything coordinated and trying to get people to work together,” says Stump.
Coordination is a task that starts weeks before ticket booths open. Maintenance crews and club members spend 14 to 16 hours a day preparing.
“It’s the time before hand that is pressure,” says Stump.
During an event that hosts over 200,000 people Stump says sometimes his staff of nine just can’t do it all.
“We are on call to assist the maintenance staff,” says Jeryl Hochstedler, with the Happy Helper Crew.
Hochstedler is a volunteer with the happy helpers who has been assisting with anything from planting flowers to cleaning bathrooms for over 25 years.
“Oh we gotta do some dirty jobs too,” says Hochstedler.
Stump says even the dirtiest of jobs need to get done and the on-call crew helps with the ultimate goal.
“Whatever it takes to get the job done and keep people happy,” says Stump.
On call volunteers will roam the fair grounds for nine days doing odd end tasks. They say the most demanding task is hauling up to 14 tons of trash a day.