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General News

IAFE members can check out all the news in the Breaking News section and get e-mail alerts with the Personalized Alert System (PAS).

12/15 -- OK State Fair Park planning paid parking for all events, adding security -- PStarting in 2019, all paved parking at the State Fairgrounds will come at a cost. Officials say it will help with additional security, but some organizations are concerned about what the additional price will mean for attendees. "We need to be more diligent in our efforts to try to protect the people who come out to the events at State Fair Park,” Scott Munz, a State Fair Park spokesperson, said . . . more -->

12/14 -- National Western capital campaign gets $10 million jump from Gary-Williams Energy founder -- Philanthropists Ron and Cille Williams have seeded the $1 billion transformation of the National Western Stock Show‘s grounds with a $10 million gift to the NWSS Honoring the Legacy capital campaign. “Let’s go build something,” Ron, who made his mark in the oil and gas business as an owner of Gary-Williams Energy, told a crowd that gathered Tuesday for an unveiling of a model of the 100,000 square foot Legacy Building, the National Western’s planned headquarters . . . more -->

12/14 -- Calgary's BMO Centre looks to expand on Stampede site -- The largest convention centre in Alberta is set to double in size if expansion plans at the Calgary Stampede come to fruition. There seems to be widespread consensus that the BMO Centre needs to be larger in order to accommodate both current and future demand for conferences and events, but an agreement needs to be reached with all three levels of government before the megaproject – the capital cost is expected to be $500 million – can go into the ground . . . more -->

12/14 -- Mohave County Fairgrounds (AZ) has a new manager -- As the new general manager for Mohave County Fair Association, Tim Woods wants to clean up the fairgrounds and expand the schedule with everything from equine events to motorsports. Woods was among more than 20 candidates who applied to replace former fair manager Jimmy Guillot, who resigned from the job in November under pressure from the board . . . more -->

12/13 -- Maryland State Fair & Agricultural Society names first female board president -- The Maryland State Fair & Agricultural Society, Inc. has elected its first female board of directors president in its 139-year history. Donna G. Myers, a Carroll County dairy farmer, has served on board committees for the agricultural society for 17 years and most recently was the board’s treasurer. As president, Myers will work with the board and staff to ensure the 137th Maryland State Fair is a “must-see event for all Marylanders,” she said . . . more -->

12/13 -- Boone County Fairgrounds (NE) building cost to come from special building fund -- It won’t be a bond issue. Instead, the new agriculture and activity building at the Boone County Fairgrounds will be financed through a special building fund levy by the County Agricultural Society. County commissioners made that decision in a discussion with the building planning committee members during their regular meeting Monday, Dec. 11 . . . more -->

12/11 -- Washington County (OR) moves forward on events center plan -- Despite plans to develop the Washington County Fair Complex into a state-of-the-art conference center, county officials say the fairgrounds should retain its agricultural roots. "The county fair is a longstanding tradition, and the county is committed to keeping it going," said Julie McCloud, a county spokesperson. "It's changed over the years — the first one was held in the mid-1800s — but there's a proud tradition of putting on an annual fair . . . more -->

12/11 -- Douglas County Fair (MN) has small shortfall, big impact -- The Douglas County Agricultural Association invested heavily into the fair this year, making improvements and bringing in new attractions like a traveling exhibit that honored the victims and heroes in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. The association's goal: Bring people back who haven't experienced the fair in awhile . . . more -->

12/11 -- Nebraska State Fair license plate a work in progress -- Plans are underway to issue a Nebraska State Fair license plate. Lindsey Koepke, Nebraska State Fair 1868 Foundation executive director, discussed the license plate Friday at the fair’s board meeting in Grand Island. The 1868 Foundation is a charitable 501(c)(3) organization. It raises funds and resources for the fair. Last year, it was successful in raising funds for the Thompson Open Air Arena project . . . more -->

12/11 -- Colorado State Fair manager: Event turning a profit, in no danger of moving from Pueblo -- Now that the annual two-day retreat of the Colorado State Fair Board of Authority is in the books, Fair General Manager Sarah Cummings visited with The Pueblo Chieftain to recap this year's expo and talk 2018. "We had a very strong retreat, with great participation from board members and the Department of Agriculture," Cummings said. "And good conversations about the future vision of the Fair and year-round operations . . . more -->

12/06 -- Kevin Gordon to retire Dec. 31 as Illinois state fairs manager -- The state of Illinois will soon be looking for a replacement to manage its state fairs. Kevin Gordon, division manager of fairs and promotional services, has indicated to senior agency officials his intent to retire effective Dec. 31, according to Morgan Booth, public information officer for the Illinois Department of Agriculture . . . more -->

12/06 -- $4 million sought for $25M Montgomery County Fairgrounds (OH) redevelopment -- The Dayton-Montgomery County Port Authority is seeking $4 million in state or federal funds in the $25 million redevelopment of the former Montgomery County Fairgrounds in South Dayton. The effort could create up to 250 new jobs, the Port Authority says in an application to the Dayton Development Coalition’s regional process to prioritize local needs . . . more -->

12/05 -- Cloverdale Citrus Fair welcomes incoming CEO -- The Cloverdale Citrus Fair Board of Directors has selected Katie Fonsen Young to be the fair’s incoming chief executive officer — and few could be more pleased with the choice than the current fair CEO, Bonnie Wlodarczyk, who will be retiring this spring after 32 years. “I think she will be awesome,” Wlodarczyk said. “It’s not often you can replace a retiring CEO with someone who has great experience and all the things she brings to the job, so I believe it will be a very smooth transition . . . more -->

12/05 -- Jerome County Fair donates to Mammogram Fund -- Are you tough enough to wear pink? That is the question the Jerome County Fair & Rodeo has asked for the past few years “Tough Enough to Wear Pink” Campaign (TETWP). It is a yearlong, western-industry-wide fundraiser to raise awareness and funds for breast cancer. The St. Luke’s Magic Valley Foundation has already hit the cause with its Mammogram Fund campaign. This year the Jerome County Fair will donate $580 raised from the proceeds of the 2017 Fair Tri-Tip Cook-off Competition . . . more -->

12/05 -- IAFE Members Explore the Benefits of Change -- After four record years attendance-wise, the Minnesota State Fair, St. Paul, is still configured and programmed for 1.5 million people. In 2016, it drew 1.9 million, and management thought, “wow, we won’t see that again,” and then they did. Those growing pains are a good thing to have and Jerry Hammer, manager of the St. Paul event, was looking at options both here, during the International Association of Fairs & Expositions convention Nov. 26-29, and back home, where he was headed for another round of expansion planning . . . more -->

12/05 -- Indiana State Fair Commission Chairman Andre Lacy Dies -- A highly-regarded name in the Indiana business and philanthropic communities has died. Andre Lacy was board chair of LDI Ltd. LLC and a senior adviser to Butler University’s School of Business, which bears his name. Funeral arrangements will be detailed in the coming days. Lacy was 78. Lacy had been chairman of the Indiana State Fair Commission since 2009, where he was considered a driving force in the $63 million renovation of the Indiana State Fairgrounds Coliseum, chairman of the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors and past chairman of the Indiana State Chamber of Commerce . . . more -->

12/05 -- Central Wisconsin State Fair Board moves forward with date change -- Central Wisconsin State Fair fans will have to mark a new date on their calendars from now on. The Fair Board this week decided to hold Marshfield's largest annual event one week prior to Labor Day weekend, a change from 100 years of tradition that the board began discussing in October . . . more -->