LONGVIEW, Texas — The Gregg County Fair is back in full swing and the vendor section is a popular area of the fair.
John Cronin, owner of JLC Guitars, is one of many vendors at the fair this year and he has built custom guitars for 13 years.
"There was an instrument by a major manufacturer that I really liked and it was imported from Japan," Cronin said. "The instrument might have been an $800 instrument, but to get it here would’ve been about $2,000. So I said, 'nope, maybe I can build that.'"
Cronin’s first instrument took him over 300 hours to create. Since then, he’s refined his process and said an instrument will typically take him between 80 and 120 hours to build.
"The pieces are beautiful, they play incredibly well, and you would not believe some of the unique materials they’ve been made from," Cronin said.
Guitars isn't the only thing Cronin creates.
"I’ve done church pews (and) railroad ties," Cronin said. "This bass, is about a 150-year-old piece of wood from a barn that was from a friend of mine in Wyoming."
Although JLC Guitars is based in Longview, Cronin said he ships his guitars and basses all around the country.
Gregg County Fair spokesperson Barbara Robertson said she she loves families enjoying the fair and everything it offers.
"It’s fun to see families that are together and enjoying it, making the most of it," Robertson said. "That’s what the fair is all about, making memories and having a good time. It’s part of the tradition of the Gregg County Fair."
The last day to attend the Gregg County Fair is Saturday, Sept. 16. To see the fair's schedule, click here.