As the State Fair of Texas began on Sept. 24, vendors shared their troubles securing supplies for the annual affair.

Roughly a million patrons will attend the fair, enjoy various fair foods, take a spin on the rides and play famous fair games. All of this requires a large number of supplies. One item in shortage is the game merchandise. Stuffed animals, balloons, and mini prize toys are hard to get in bulk.

“It’s harder to get products. Like for our game merchandise – little stuff like balloons or hacky sacks that we throw to bust the balloons,” Rusty Fitzgerald, the fair’s senior vice president of operations, said. “Some of those are more challenging.”

Masks, gloves, and paper goods are also posing a problem. Vendors like Juan Reaves of Smokey John’s Bar-B-Que shared his struggles with getting masks for workers.

“The hard thing is masks – because all of our team members will be wearing masks,” Reaves told 5 NBC of DFW. “Gloves have been a real challenge.”

Reaves also shared that paper goods like takeout plates are in short supply as well.

“Finding takeout plates was like the toilet paper situation in the beginning of the pandemic,” Reaves said. “We are struggling to find those types of products.”

While supplies are an issue, vendors have also been struggling with a lack of help. Nationwide, businesses have been struggling to hire and keep on staff. The State Fair of Texas is having the same issue.

As the fair runs for 24 days, it is challenging to secure part-time help for a temporary position. Some vendors’ solution to this problem is to ensure their compensation for the short gig is very attractive. Many hope to nix their temporary staffing issues for this year’s big festivities between generous hourly rates and bonuses.

The State Fair of Texas runs from Sept. 24 through Oct. 17.