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Carnival lifestyle 'gets in your blood'



Published: Sun, September 1, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



Working at a fair concession stand has its difficulties and rewards.

CANFIELD --Skinner Sanders was born to work at a county fair.

Sanders' father owned fair concession stands, and every summer his family would leave their home in Sebring to work at county fairs across the country.

He said he always dreaded early September, when he knew the fairs were ending and he was headed back to school.

"It just gets in your blood," said Sanders, 47.

He now owns several fair concession stands, including six at the Canfield Fair.

"The carnival seems to call you back," Sanders said.

It's not easy

Sanders also stressed, however, that life as a concession stand worker can be difficult.

Tina Hunter, 38, of Columbus, said it's hard for her to pack up and leave one fair only to drive hundreds of miles and set up at another fair a few days later.

Hunter works at a Sanders game concession stand. She said she has traveled to fairs in Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York this summer.

"You just get used to not being in one place very long," Sanders said.

Ron Johnson, 53, a Youngstown resident who works at another Sanders stand, added that concession stand workers don't always have a steady income.

"If it rains all weekend, and there's very few people out here, they're going to make a lot less than expected," Johnson said.

Out of season

Concession stand workers are paid a percentage of the money they collect. Some save the money and don't work in the winter, Sanders said. Others take jobs or work at fairs in the South during the colder months.

Johnson said concession stand workers can make a decent living if they work hard to attract customers.

"If you get in the game and hustle, you can make money," he said.




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