COLUMBIA, S.C. — The South Carolina State Fair is looking for temporary workers for the first time since it started over 150 years ago.
The general manager of the fair, Nancy Smith, says there’s a combination of factors contributing to the need for help.
“I think we’re experiencing what some of everyone in other industries, not just the fair industry, is experiencing right now.”
Smith, who has worked at the fair for decades, started as a temporary worker in the Home and Craft Department.
“I did get my start at the South Carolina State Fair as, we kid about this now, ‘taking vacation’ from a real job.'”
The fair is currently hiring for 50 positions. The areas with positions include Guest Services, the Cookie Kitchen, Fine Arts, Home and Crafts, and Parking Gates. The only requirement for applicants is that they are at least 18-years-old.
“Historically, we have pulled from many areas, for folks who come to work at the fair. I think some of it stems from the fact that people are still timid from COVID, they’re just not comfortable doing that," Smith said. "We also have generations of workers, so some aren’t as young and spry as they used to be. So, they’re aging out of it.”
One of those workers is Cathy Danielson. She says her time with the fair started when she turned 18 after begging her dad to let her work there. She began as at Guest Services and has been a part of the team since.
“It's really family, it's like a family reunion every year," Danielson said. "My dad was first, then I came along, now my husband and my son work here.”
Danielson is hopeful that people find a position and join her fair family.