COSHOCTON – Taking care of the Coshocton County Fairgrounds has been the story of John Conley’s adult life.
Conley started doing maintenance work at the fairgrounds for his father, John Conley Sr., when he was 19 and 32 years later is still on the job, now serving as the grounds superintendent.
The job is year round for Conley, but his busiest month is September when set up for the fair starts.
“I go from eight hour days to 10 or 11,” he said.
Conley and his crew of four during the fair have a long list of tasks to complete prior to the annual event including spraying the barns down with disinfectant, putting up the snow fences, moving equipment that is stored in the barns during the offseason, setting up the trash cans and benches and much more.
Once the fair gets going he can be on the job until 12 or 1 a.m. each day.
“I like the work,” Conley said. “I have to report to the board, but I pretty much get to be my own boss. There’s been three generations of my family doing this. My dad still works for me and my youngest son works for me too.”
Once the fair is over him and his crew work on cleaning up, do maintenance on their equipment and then spend the rest of the year doing upkeep work and making sure the fairgrounds are ready for other events held there.
“When the fair is all over you are happy another one is in the books, but you are already planning the next one,” Conley said. “During this one you are always thinking about what went well and what you want to do different next year.”
Category: People & Places