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Throughout the summer time there’s been one consistent trend when talking about all the local festivals in Northern Michigan, it’s the lack of carnival ride operators. It’s either the carnival rides are understaffed or workers simply just don’t show up. The Alpena County Fair has had a consistent level of volunteers showing up to work, Dalton Kennedy, the Unit Manager for the Alpena County Fair provided a statement as to why this fair has been a bit more successful compared to other events this year.

Dalton said, “For us were very fortunate, I got a great working relationship with the committee here and I asked them to place an ad saying, ‘Hey we need help’. Luckily, I had five or six people show up and that really helps but all in all this year has been okay with help. I’m not going say its been easy by no means but we have been fortunate this year.”

This years Alpena County Fair sees 13 total carnival rides which is a big increase from 2021’s 7 carnival rides and 2022’s 9 carnival rides. When talking about the other events that have wrapped up recently like the Rogers City Nautical Festival and their staff shortages leading to fewer festival rides, Dalton had this to say, “I don’t really think its anything that anybody in particular can do. People just got to get off the couch and want to work, that’s just what it boils down to.” Dalton adds, “I mean there’s no easy way to say this, why sugar coat it, the world is lazy.”

Another reason why the Alpena County Fair is doing a lot better in terms of staff compared to other events is thanks to Courtney Krentz, the Fair Board President and her work behind the scenes providing more family friendly events and rides. Courtney said, “Over the past couple of years we’ve had an increase numbers in volunteers stepping up as well as people in paid positions. I think the community is really happy with what’s going on with the fair as far as, I guess bettering the fair.” 

She adds, “We’re bringing in more grandstand events, We’re bringing in more free things for children. Were trying to incorporate more things for all ages, so I think that has a lot to do with the community support.”

There’s still time to enjoy the Alpena County Fair as it runs all the way through the 19th of August, so don’t miss out of the family friendly fun!