By Whitney Vickers
XENIA — Planning the Greene County Fair comes down to 18 individuals and countless volunteers who work together year-round to bring the event to life.
The Greene County Fair Board begins the planning process just after the fairgrounds are cleaned up once the annual event closes shop for the year. Service to the Greene County Fair Board was a given as Gail Mueller grew up.
Her father, Bob Hutchison, had served for a good deal of time. After he passed away, Mueller took over his spot. She’s been a member of the Greene County Fair Board for three years.
“It’s stressful, but I enjoy it,” she said. “I [think it’s important to] make sure it’s not just a carnival and people are learning about agriculture as well.”
Mueller said she is a teacher, explaining why she values the educational piece of the Greene County Fair. She is also a mother and strives to find balance between her role as a parent and her role as a fair board member. Just before the Greene County Fair welcomed guests, Mueller was offering support to her daughter, who showed sheep at another county fair. This continued their family tradition.
She is challenged by lacking additional hours in the day, as planning the week-long county fair involves a number of moving parts. But Mueller said planning the event comes down to teamwork.
“It’s a big commitment,” she said. “It’s not just one week out of the year, it’s the entire year. After we cleanup the 2016 fair, we will start thinking about what worked and what didn’t work to get ready for next year.”
And the rewarding part? Working with the kids. She appreciates watching the young children receive their first ribbon, even if just for participation.
“The most important moment for agriculture is when you unload the animals off the truck,” Mueller said. “A handshake from the judge is just a bonus. It’s important to have an animal that you’re proud of.”
The fruits of their labor will be on display to the community beginning Sunday, July 31 until Saturday, Aug. 6 during the annual Greene County Fair, located at the Greene County Fairgrounds, 120 Fairground Road.