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A lot goes in getting ready for fair week

Months of preparations will add space and hopefully enjoyment to the fair, officials say.

For months, fair manager Jean Grant, the Fair Association Board and its volunteers have been planning for the six days of action known as the Citrus County Fair.

The buildings are clean. The trash barrels are newly painted. The arena at the livestock complex is fresh and waiting for the first steers to trample it.

But fairgoers concentrating on the food, rides and entertainment will probably give little thought to the preparation that went into welcoming the midway multitudes.

C.L. Calloway, who heads the building and grounds committee with co-chairmen Lyle Davis and Bill Hoppert, knows what it takes to pull everything into shape.

"We work together as a team," he said. "We're pretty safety-conscious. We've paved the broken sidewalk down by the arena. We look for anything that might be a problem."

For instance, they worked with SECO to get the power lines on the midway put underground.

"It's safer," Calloway said. With the poles and lines gone, there also is more room on the midway.

Calloway and his group of volunteers have enlarged the arena area.

"We've lost some seats, but more children can get into the ring," he said.

"It's an ongoing job," Calloway said. "We keep it up all the time."

"But when it comes time for the fair, we're ready," he said. "Everybody pitches in at fair time and that's why we have such a great fair."

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In the week before the Citrus County Fair opens, Bob Poore paints trash barrels to be placed throughout the fairgrounds. "If we put out good, clean barrels, we think folks will use them," he said.