Sprucing up the county fairgrounds


By Jessica Johnston, Assistant News Director

In preparation for the Muskingum County Fair, the fair board, 4-H members and the community are coming together to tidy up the fairgrounds.

On July 27 from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m., volunteers will be assigned tasks across the fairgrounds including painting barns, painting benches and bathrooms, cleaning and sweeping barns, cleaning the junior fair office and more.

“(I’m going to) try to put those kids with that area so they kind of take pride in wanting to paint that barn and make it look nice so then, when they bring their animals in, they know that’s their barn for the week of the fair and they put in the time and the effort to make it look good,” Payton Dearth, an agricultural society director for the fair board, said.

Some 4-H clubs throughout the county have signed up to volunteer, along with the maintenance department at Ohio University Zanesville.

Dearth is an employee at Ohio University Zanesville and was approached by the supervisor who wanted to lend a few helping hands.

“He came up to me and said, ‘Every year we like to try and do something out in the community so this year we’d like to come help you guys with the clean up day,’” Dearth said.

Currently, there are 40 volunteers signed up to help with the cleanup day, although many more volunteers are welcome.

“There’s a lot of things that need to be done to get ready in preparation for the fair, so the more people the merrier,” Dearth said. “There’s always something that needs to be fixed or cleaned or done.”

In addition to the help of the volunteers, many businesses have donated supplies and other items to make the Muskingum County Fair Clean Up Day possible.

Lowe’s and Sherwin-Williams teamed up to donate paint, paint brushes, rollers and stain for all of the painting projects. Starrett and Son’s Hardware donated latched to replace doors in the bathroom stalls. Tractor Supply has donated cases of water for the volunteers, and North Star Pizza is donating pizza to feed the volunteers.

“Without them (sponsors) this wouldn’t be an event,” Dearth said.

This event is the first of its kind that has involved the whole community in the efforts to clean up the fairgrounds.

“It’s been a really good thing,” Dearth said. “A lot of people have definitely shown interest in wanting to help.”

Making the fairgrounds clean up day a community effort has brought different groups together to accomplish the main goal, which Dearth said was the intent of the clean up, as well as preparing the fairgrounds.

“My biggest thing is trying to create an environment where the 4-H people and the fair board can work together to try to get stuff accomplished and make the fairgrounds look nice and get it all fixed up,” he said.

For those interested in helping out with the cleanup, either as a group or an individual, the online registration can be found here. Community service hours will be documented for those that need verification.

Individuals or businesses looking to donate items to the clean up can drop them off at the fairgrounds secretary’s office, located at 1300 Pershing Rd. in Zanesville, Monday through Friday between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Anyone with questions can reach out Dearth directly by calling 740.586.4030.

Items requested for donation include:

  • Bottled water
  • Paint brushes and rollers
  • Paint mitts
  • Paint trays or empty coffee containers to hold paint
  • Plywood
  • Hinges
  • Wood stain
  • Paint (dark green or white)
  • Power washers and hoses to use the day of the event
  • Gift cards to purchase supplies (Home Depot, Lowe’s, Rural King, Tractor Supply or others)