One of the busy people preparing for the Seneca County Fair is Bill Enders, who has been managing the grounds for 15 years.
He keeps plenty busy year-round, but the job steps up a couple notches in July.
"It's total chaos," he said. "It's every day in July."
PHOTO BY VICKI JOHNSON
Fair board member David Hoover (left) discusses grounds work with grounds manager Bill Enders.
In addition to his usual maintenance activities, during the weeks before the fair Enders and office manager Bev Hoover manage placement of the food concession trailers.
"I get hollered at a lot," he said. "But somebody has to do it."
His work slows down a bit when fair time arrives.
"As long as nothing happens, and nothing breaks, or somebody jerks some lines down, we're ready," he said. "I'm ready. My work is done.
"We hope nobody does anything that needs repaired," he added. "But something happens every day."
He's in charge of the restroom maintenance people during the fair.
"When there's a plugged toilet, they'll call Bill," said fair board member David Hoover, who also works on the grounds frequently.
"I've had fairs where nothing happened," Enders said. "I think there were two in 15 years."
One year sewage backed up and he dealt with it. And another year somebody broke a water line and he finished the repairs around 4 a.m.
"It was just an everyday fair tragedy," he said.
Enders also takes care of the grounds for other events at the fair such as Junior Fair Foundation Flea Markets and special events. For example, the Gold Wings used the fairgrounds as a home base when the group had a get-together. And the Great Ohio Bicycle Adventure participants camped there one year.
Every fall he takes care of loading the fairgrounds buildings with vehicles, boats and campers for winter storage.
"And other projects," he said. "Whenever they have a project going on I'm
When grass doesn't require mowing - as in recent weeks - Enders always has other projects waiting in the wings.
"Last year I couldn't catch up with all the water we had," he said. "Every year is different."
The total fairgrounds encompass 106 acres with 72 acres inside the fence. In that area there are 47 buildings and 50 acres of grass.
"The center of the racetrack is 9 acres," he said.
In a normal year, by the time he finishes mowing it's time to start over again.
"I mow with an antique tractor," he said. "To mow the whole fairgrounds takes 9 days, even with a 15-foot mower."
When he was mowing in early July he found a surprise water leak, which fall into the "repair" category.
"I try not to overspend," he said. "I try to fix everything. I wear many hats."
A few of his year-round activities are mowing grass/plowing snow, plumbing, electrical and other maintenance work. He manages winter storage areas where people can keep campers and other seasonal items inside during the winter.
And there are lots of special projects Enders takes part in.
"Sometimes we demolish buildings and build new ones," he said. A recent example is helping to complete the new milkshake stand.
In addition, Enders organized a gun show last September as a fundraiser.
"All that takes time," he said.
Enders said it gets interesting at times working for 25 bosses - because each fair board member is his employer.
"It's a fun job. It depends on how you do it," he said. "It's just hard to deal with that many bosses. They all mean well. They just have their own
"It's what you make it. It's like any job," he said. "You can make it better or you can make it worse.