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League of NH Craftsmen Fair Faces Workforce Shortages

The annual League of NH Craftsmen's Fair starts at Mount Sunapee in Newbury on Saturday and an estimated 25,000 visitors will attend the nine-day event.

The fair has seen some positive changes as well as some difficulties this year, shortly after the mountain was purchased by Vail.

The fair will host a variety of new, diverse food vendors this year. And with the help of Vail, the league was able to move a previously indoor art exhibition outside to the main fair grounds, according to Miriam Carter, executive director of the league.

But Carter said that workforce shortages - caused in large part by New Hampshire's low employment rate as well as demographic changes - have gotten in the way.

"Volunteers are harder to find now, and we actually had to hire people and we also had to pay them more than we've ever had to pay," Carter said. "It hits the bottom line. We're a non-profit organization and rely on this event to sustain our organization annually. So that affects how much we make."

Carter also said the League of NH Craftsmen has stepped up its marketing campaign to keep in-person craft shopping relevant in the age of e-commerce.

The 86th annual League of New Hampshire Craftsmen's Fair will run from Aug. 3 to Aug. 11.

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