SAUK RAPIDS -- This week in our "Behind the Scenes" series on WJON, we join the fun at the Benton County Fair and see how they go about setting up all of the weeks entertainment.

From games, rides, food and displays a lot of man hours go into setting up for the week long celebration.

Benton County Fair Director Al Stemper says the work begins a year in advance and leading up to opening day.

"A lot of July and very heavy on the end of July there is a lot of work to do to get ready. We spend a lot of quality time down here making sure everything is lined up," says Stemper.

Each year the fair looks to add new attractions, yet there are some classics that continue to come back year after year.

Tony Forcier supervises the rides and says each ride takes several hours to put together.

"It takes about three, three and a half hours usually. Some take less some take more but that is kind of an average," says Forcier.

Forcier says before you're allowed to get your thrills each ride is thoroughly checked.

"We have a separate crew that goes through every piece of equipment and does their inspection. Plus our own operators do their daily inspections every day," says Forcier.

As work continues, other vendors are busy putting the finishing touches on their displays in anticipation of your arrival.

Stemper and Forcier say they take great pride in their work to make sure the fair is safe, fun and memorable.

"I have a lot of pride being able to look at people and see they are having fun," says Stemper.

"The younger kids they see the rides and lights, it just attracts their attention," says Forcier.

The Benton County Fair runs through Sunday. You can see the full schedule of events at

Crews set up the rides at the Benton County Fair. (Photo: Alex Svejkovsky, WJON)