OPCMIA and the Ohio State Fair
In the early 1980’s, the OPCMIA held the first Great Lakes Apprentice Competition at the Ohio State Fair. This competition was for apprentices from the state of Ohio. Throughout the 1980’s the OPCMIA and the Ohio Sate Fair formed what would become a lasting and long-term relationship. The plasterer apprentices worked on various projects including the dryvit on the Brickler Building, while the cement mason apprentices poured and finished the concrete for the new shelter house. During the 1990’s the cement masons installed and replaced sidewalks at the Administrative Building and poured a patio for the Fine Arts Building. The plasterers worked on projects to include the resurfacing exterior walls at the Cooper Arena. Throughout the years the OPCMIA would hold a competition and would showcase to the general public the techniques and skills of the OPCMIA members. They have had demonstrations and exhibits including beautiful veneer, cultured stone, rock carving, stamping, staining and stenciled concrete, double trowel machines and more. Over the years, they have cast hundreds of molds and passed these out as free gifts to the attendees of the fair. Over the last 30 years, the bond with the Ohio State Fair and the OPCMIA was resilient. In 2011 the fairgrounds honored the OPCMIA by designating an area on the West Lawn of the DiSalle Center for the use of the OPCMIA and their events. The apprenticeship programs poured a 6000 sq foot pad on the West Lawn which includes an operable concrete sink and countertop.
In 2013 the Great Lakes Apprenticeship Competition reached an all time high and grew to 15 competitors, from 6 states and Canada. The OPCMIA project for the 2014 fair will be to pour a patio around the Dairy Barn for families to sit and enjoy their ice cream.
As we continue to work with the Ohio State Fair, stop by our exhibit at the DiSalle Center (West Lawn) to see the newest technology and techniques for the Union Plasterers and Cement Masons from around Ohio.