Popular vendor only half staffed for Great New York State Fair, will staffing shortages impact the experience?

Local News

GEDDES, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — If you’re not counting down, the Great New York State Fair is less than three weeks away. Vendors are well on their way to setting up, but the COVID-19 summer surge isn’t the only hurdle for them.

A number of big-name vendors have pulled out of the fair for various reasons. First, it was Gianelli Sausage, then the Baker’s Chicken Coop and Haddock’s Paddock, and Tully’s backed out in part because of a staffing shortage.

They don’t want to jeopardize their stores for you know, two weeks of the New York State Fair and their staff is overworked.

Grazi Zazzara – Owner, Villa Pizze Fritte

Staffing is a problem many vendors share. Including the longtime fair favorite, Villa Pizze Fritte.

“Usually at this time we’ve got kids coming out of the woodwork, you know they want to work and they’re not.”

Grazi Zazzara

It takes more than 100 people to run their five lemonade stands and man the fried dough. Right now, Zazzara only has about 45.

With a handful of vendors dropping out and a fair longer than ever before, those who are setting up shop will have to manage more foot traffic.

“Are we gonna be as fast? Probably not. We probably won’t be totally staffed but we’re gonna try obviously,” said Zazzara.

You’ll likely notice longer lines and you may miss your favorite food, but you will see something new this year.

It seems like everybody always asks, ‘boy can you put a shot of vodka in there’ [lemonade] We always used to laugh. Now we can do it. So, we’re gonna have an angry lemonade down there.

Grazi Zazzara

Pizze Fritte is taking over concessions outside the ExpoCenter with spiked lemonade on the menu. They’ll also have beer and wine milkshakes.

This means Zazzara will also have to staff the new “Expo Bar,” but it’s something he thinks people will enjoy at a Great New York State Fair that will likely feel unlike any fair they’ve been to before.

“There are a lot of jobs that have to be filled. It’ll happen. The show goes on,” Zazzara said.

If you would like to work some of the six-hour shifts for Villa Pizze Fritte at the NYSF, call 315-703-9620 for more information or visit their Facebook page.

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