As of: October 2nd, 2023 5:00 a.m
According to the Schleswig-Holstein Showmen’s Association, it is no longer possible to run all fairs if there are several events at the same time. The city of Pinneberg is feeling the effects of this – which has to forego the fair this year.
The city of Pinneberg had to cancel its traditional autumn market because not enough showmen could be found. The annual fair has existed in Pinneberg since the early 1970s. Always in spring and always in autumn, according to tradition. The city also planned a fairground with carousels, bumper cars, etc. for the first weekend in October. But the market square will remain empty this year.
Too few showmen
The marketplace offers enough space. There could be four large rides on it. The city would have liked one of them and a bumper car to organize an attractive autumn market, says the press spokeswoman for the city of Pinneberg, Birgit Schmidt-Harder. But nobody was found. “We noticed before Corona that the market had lost some of its attractiveness,” says the city. This not only affects Pinneberg, but also the surrounding communities. But now the problem has worsened, the showmen are increasingly opting for the larger, more lucrative markets such as the Hamburg Cathedral, explains the city’s spokeswoman.
Seasonal workers are hard to come by anymore
There are around 250 showman companies in Schleswig-Holstein, almost all of them are looking for staff. Permanent employees and seasonal workers are hard to come by, explains the President of the Schleswig-Holstein Showmen’s Association Marco Lange. The pay is good, above the minimum wage. The unattractive working hours on weekends or Sundays and public holidays have always been a problem. Corona made this even worse. Many workers took on new jobs during the shutdown and the number of foreign seasonal workers has also been declining for years.
Not every hype works anymore
While it used to be possible to run two or three fairs at the same time, this is no longer possible today due to the labor shortage, says Marco Lange. The decision is always made for the economically better and more lucrative event. The assembly and dismantling alone is always a problem.
Michael Dieter Fehlauer runs a break dancer (amusement ride). He needs four employees to set up and dismantle, but he only has two, he says. At the time when Pinneberg would like to have a fair of hype, the autumn market in Kiel and the Kramer market in Oldenburg, Lower Saxony, are taking place at the same time. Both are large events over ten days, but the smaller event in Pinneberg over four days is unfortunately canceled, says Lange.
Pinneberg wants to maintain tradition
The fair in their own town is particularly important for families and is part of the tradition. The city also believes that there needs to be an offer for young people who are not yet old enough to travel to big cities alone. That’s why we don’t want to miss out on an early and autumn market in the future. The city would now like to work with the showmen to consider what options there are to continue holding the markets. But most likely not as a big hustle and bustle on the market square, but rather in a smaller form.
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NDR 1 Wave North | Schleswig-Holstein Magazine | Oct 2, 2023 | 19:30 o’clock