Things won’t be quite the same at the Iowa State Fair, as Marion Lucas leaves the job of General Manager, a post he’s held since 1986. Lucas will become C-E-O of the fair, and says there won’t be much change this year since for one last season he’ll share fair management duties with the new director, Gary Slater.Lucas says “It’s our fair” as they share the daily operation, then Lucas will move on to fundraising, budgets and lobbying. Lucas already has another job as well, after he was elected to a national post.He’ll remain chairman of the International Association of Fairs and Expositions, and hopes this fall to get out and talk about fairs all over. I-A-F-E represents 1600 fairs in the U-S, Canada, Australia and New Zealand as well as vendors and suppliers. Lucas says Iowa’s state fair is unique in some ways as it’s base mainly on agriculture.Lucas says all fairs began with that kind of agricultural emphasis that Iowa retains. Lucas’s favorite thing at the 2001 Iowa State Fair would have to be a couple projects for which he’s spent a long time helping raise money.The Varied Industries Building is remodeled, and Grand Avenue is virtually all new. And when Marion Lucas wraps up his work as fair manager and head of the trade group, what’s next? He says there are some secrets he’s not telling yet, but he’s considering a couple offers in the same field. Lucas came to Iowa from the Missouri State Fair, as did his replacement, new fair manager Gary Slater. Before that, Slater also worked at the fair and managed the World Pork Expo for six years.
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