SPENCER, Iowa (KCAU) — For the past 105 years, the Clay County Fair has brought joy to those in the community.

To get the area ready for more than 300,000 guests, the Clay County Fair CEO, Jeremy Parsons, said it takes an army.

“A full time staff of 12, a seasonal staff of 40, and then during the fair we add about 400 employees and about a thousand volunteers,” said Parsons.

The Clay County Fair will have more than 450 vendors this year and acquiring that many merchants does not happen overnight.

“Our full-time team, especially you know that’s what we do for a living, it puts the fair together and of course volunteers our board that work year around, it’s also to provide leadership. It really is a community effort that takes an entire year to plan,” said Parsons.

While the county fair has not started yet, a photo competition has already begun. Dana Metcalf, the superintendent of the photography department, started the event back in 2004 as a way for community members to show off their photography skills.

“We have about 1,400-1,500 photos that we are now evaluating with 18 judges and about 50-60 volunteers,” said Metcalf.

Metcalf said the judges sort through the competition early, so as not to bother guests during the fair.

“That’s a big commotion that goes on and we like to get it done before the fair so our fair goers then can just enjoy the pictures,” said Metcalf.

Metcalf’s favorite part of the event is seeing all the different scenery people submit. She said the amount of energy people put into the photos leaves her in awe.

“How much time they probably spend with that one photo trying to make it look the best. How much time they spend out on the lake trying to get that one picture of the eagle that’s dropping down to catch that fish. It’s just amazing what people come up with,” said Metcalf.

 The Clay County Fair begins on September 10 and runs through September 18.