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Oneida County Fair
Photo by Kyle Pozorski

A Day in the life of a carnival worker


Story By Kyle Pozorski
Local News Published 08/02/2021 3:44AM, Last Updated 08/02/2021 3:22PM
Rhinelander -

Have you ever given the thought of what a carnival worker does or why they chose to take a carnie job? Terry Flieger, an amusement worker at the Oneida County Fair, tells tales about what she experiences in her day to day. Flieger has been traveling with the carnival for several years all over central Wisconsin.

"Throughout the summer I work here, and then during the rest of the year I work at Culver's," said Flieger. She says that working at carnivals and fairs takes effort preparing to make the fair enjoyable.

Flieger continued, "We set up, so we get up early in the morning, prepare all the wagons, and just get ready for our day." And when her day starts, she's ready to take on anything.

"A carnival worker takes a lot of patience, a lot of people understanding, and just an overall sense of what the community is looking for. Just the variety of people, it's amazing. You get all shapes, all sizes, all different types of personality, which makes this job very fun," said Flieger. During the summer months, she sees a wide variety of personalities coming through the fairgrounds. 

But she says the hard work is all worth it at the end of the day. "The delight in making food, seeing smiles on people's faces when you hand them the food, as well as going around helping anybody that needs help. Whether it be picking up something that they dropped on the ground, just being courteous," said Flieger. 

For Flieger and other carnies, the opportunities to make one's day enjoyable are all that matters, allowing for everybody that comes by her to have a great time. 

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