The Nebraska State Fair starts Friday, and fairground staff and exhibitors are using the final hours to put finishing touches on the fairgrounds, show animals, and safety and staff preparations.
For fair-goers, it's a festival of fun and food, but for many of those putting on the show, it's also a whole lot of work.
"A lot of people think it's a vacation, but it's really not. We get up, we're up out at the barn at 5 o'clock in the morning, and we're usually here 'til 11 at night, and it's extremely busy today because tomorrow is show day," said exhibitor Don Esau of Hardee Farm.
And, those fairground snacks and and lemonade don't make themselves...
"Squeezin' them lemons. 'Cause they're fresh squeezed lemonade. I should have added that we have to prepare our lemonades, cut them, squeeze them, shake them up and make them," explained vendor Marty Brown.
Achieving a Nebraska showplace look means pulling weeds and washing windows. Battling the wind is just one part of the constant cleanup challenge.
"When people are eating, food will just blow, and so will the paper, and the napkins, and we, us being the cleaning people, we chase after it," said lamented Fairground staff member Angel Oili.
Volunteers are part of the workforce that keeps the State Fair running smoothly. Here Heartland United Way volunteers train in serving, hygiene, and business.
At the United Way "Scoops" ice cream parlor, their motto is "Giving Back Never Tasted So Good." But for volunteers, it's not all a treat.
"There are times when the line goes all the way out to the pavement, and so it's pretty crazy trying to keep all the orders straight, and to keep it flowing smoothly so we're not making people wait for a long time," said volunteer Ellen Hornady.
Safety is part of the preparations. Engineers subjected the "Sky Tram" chair-lift to final testing, placing 400 pound barrels of water on every seat.