February 29, 2024

Cvb Dienste

Never Knowingly Pets

Chesterfield County Fair experiences unprecedented labor shortage

A sign located on the 4700 block of West Hundred Road in Chester, Va., references a line from the early '70s rock song 'Signs.'

CHESTERFIELD — The 100-year-old county fair in Chesterfield returned with an unfortunate minor glitch: a labor shortage.

Because the 2020 Chesterfield County Fair was canceled due to COVID, the Chesterfield County Fair Association team was raring to go this year. However, the Fair’s General Manager Brenda White, as well as fair vendors, encountered a new problem.  There was an air of excitement during the fair set-up, but volunteers and seasonal workers were in short supply. 

“I’ve always had kids and people stop in here to ask if anyone is hiring, but with schools starting early…it’s just not happening,” said White. “Some can’t come because they’re in school.”

The Chesterfield County School Board approved a pre-Labor Day opening for the 2021-22 school year. 

William Henley of Chesterfield works at Pop Pop's Kettle Corn during the 2021 Chesterfield County Fair on Aug. 28.

“The vendors would hire the older high school kids to come out and help, but they’re not available now,” said White. “Bird High School located just across the street also extended their school hours causing another reason why the teenagers are not readily available.”

The fair crew is also feeling the loss of the teachers who previously volunteered.

A Pre-Labor Day vs. Post-Labor Day Calendar Survey was conducted by Henrico Schools in 2020 to collect feedback from students, families, and staff.