MOSES LAKE — The department managers were taking entries at the horticulture barn Monday morning, including the zucchini entered by 6-year-old Nevaeh Reeves.
Nevaeh said her uncle saw it first and showed it to her, and “we thought we should enter it in the fair.” She watered it every day, sometimes two or three times a day when it got hot. Her mom carried it into the fairgrounds because it was too heavy for Nevaeh – 11 pounds.
They were painting a bench in the Arts and Crafts Building, judging the baking entries in the Home Economics Building, sweeping the sidewalks between the exhibit buildings and the food booths. The gates opened at the Grant County Fair at 10 a.m. Tuesday, and Monday was spent getting ready.
So – how much work does it take to get ready for fair?
“Ooooooh,” said Becky Hill, stocking the American Legion booth. “It takes a lot of work.”
“It’s our second day working out here,” said Grant Oberg, as he carried supplies into the building.
“It’s our third day,” Hill said.
“A lot (of work). A lot of hard work and sweat,” said Kristy Fuller, who was balancing the cash register at the Moses Lake Eagles booth Monday.
“We actually start planning for this year’s fair right after last year’s fair,” said Dennis Foster, 2017 president of the Moses Lake Lions and the lead for the Lions fair booth. The Lions review what went right during the fair, what went wrong, what should be or could be changed. “The actual physical work started about 6 weeks ago.”
The Ephrata Lions pressure-washed their building Friday and spent the weekend checking the pop machine, hamburger grill and everything else that’s been sitting since the last fair. Special attention must be paid to the massive ice machine in the back, which dates to the 1930s and is – or so the legend says – a veteran of Grand Coulee Dam.
The crews at the Moses Lake Eagles booth open Monday morning and are there every day through Sunday. They started cleaning and testing (and repairing) equipment last week. The crews clean up, fix up and repair where necessary, “and you just hope you have it all done,” Hill said.
But for the service organizations, the effort is worth it. “The fair is our largest fundraiser,” Foster said. “We make enough to find most of our activities for the rest of the year.”
Cheryl Schweizer can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.