SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (NEXSTAR) — The Illinois State Fair is rooted in tradition.
Families, vendors, and even employees look forward to fair year in and year out. Tradition is what’s kept Kim Webster coming back to her summer job for over 30 years.
“It’s the relationship with the people in this office and with the exhibitors that I really, really miss because you get to be a family with those people,” Webster said. “And you get to see those people year after year.”
The fair is on the lookout for more employees like Webster. With less than a month remaining before the day those front gates open, the state still has hundreds of openings left to fill.
“I don’t know what the circumstance led to this,” Krista Lisser with the Illinois Department of Agriculture, said. “But this is not normal. You know, this is not something that we generally see you’re after a year. Usually, we’re pretty well stocked up with summer hires at this point.”
These open gigs are security jobs, grand stand and front gate ticket takers, and grounds crews. While none of the usual attractions are at risk of being closed down because of the lack of employees, it could still cause big issues for the fair this year.
“While I don’t think there’s anything that’s at risk of not happening, it isn’t ideal to have less buildings and grounds folks on the ground or less security,” Lisser said.
The Illinois Department of Agriculture is still taking applications for these jobs.
And with only weeks until the fair starts, the turn around time on those applications will be quick.
“They have to be over 16 years of age, that is one of our requirements. So in some positions require you to be over 18. All I can say is, if you are over 16, apply, and we probably have a place to put you,” Lisser said.