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Photo by WJFW Newswatch 12

Oneida County Fair begins tomorrow


Story By Lilly Zoller
Local News Published 07/28/2021 4:09PM, Last Updated 07/31/2021 4:21PM
Rhinelander - Chip Jacobs, a showman, says that the carnival is like singing a song about driving and looking for a sunny day.

For over 100 years, the Oneida County Fair has brought rides, games and food to the Northwoods. This year, they are eager to get back to an in- person fair after the pandemic forced a virtual event last year.

"Most of the community is ready to go, ready to shake off the dust and get back on track with having events like this and obviously still taking precautions," said Tom Barnett, the Oneida County Fair coordinator.

Carnival workers have been preparing for five months to make sure this fair is a success, starting with painting and building the attractions in the winter.

Since then, they have spent lots of time driving the rides to fairs around the area.

"I don't really consider this a job. This is a lifestyle for me and, you know, it's not a job," said Jacobs.

Carnival workers such as Jacobs are hard at work setting up the fair in Rhinelander. He says that for it to run smoothly, he and his coworkers spend lots of time deciding on the location of each ride and game. Once that's done, they can begin the easy part of setting up the rides and then operating them.

The Oneida County Fair begins on July 29 and runs through August 1--that is if the brewing storm doesn't get in the way. Fair organizers are planning accordingly and hoping that the weather won't interrupt the set-up. Barnett explained that there is a lot that goes into making sure the storm doesn't ruin their preparations.

"Lots of cinder blocks, lots of ratchet straps, and a little bit of praying," said Barnett.

Barnett and his team remain hopeful, though.

"We're ecstatic. We're so happy and excited. We're like jumping with excitement that this is happening," Barnett said.
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