The State Fair Wednesday let go seven full time employees. The fair also eliminated a permanent part-time job, won't fill a vacant position, and is reducing the hours for a part-timer who will otherwise be kept on staff. "The decision comes only after months of looking at ways to reduce expenses" says Fair manager Pat Lloyd.
The Nebraska State Fair has struggled the last few years with declining attendance. The 2003 fair saw about 200,000 enter its gates.
The fair hoped for much better numbers than that. In November, the fair got substantial donations that helped keep it going for another year, and Governor Mike Johanns agreed to help with a fund-raising plan.
But it’s a tough day for those who will lose their job. Fern Malcolm is one of those people. She has run the fair campground for years. Malcolm is a "permanent" part-timer living in a trailer on the campground provided by the fair. "I'm very upset, in other words, devastated", the 79-year-old adds.
The State Fair Board of Directors is scheduled to meet Friday, February 13 where it will discuss the fair's finances and future. It is a regularly scheduled meeting.