State Fair Hires New Executive Director

GRAND ISLAND, Neb. – The Nebraska State Fair Board has hired a new executive director. Bill Ogg, currently general manager of the 154-year old Walla Walla Fair and Frontier Days in Washington, succeeds Laurie Cox, who stepped down in March citing health reasons.

Fair Boar President Beth Smith says Ogg was the “most seasoned and experienced” of the candidates interviewed, successful at managing fairs and large nationally-sanctioned events. The board is still working out contract details with Ogg.

Ogg calls it “humbling” to be picked to run the Nebraska State Fair and promises to “respect its wholesome traditions and work hard with genuine enthusiasm to be a catalyst to grow the pride and support for this important Nebraska institution.”

The Washington event’s carnival and concession receipts, rodeo tickets sales, and beverage sales were each up 6-to-25% the past 2 years with paid and in-kind sponsorships up 20-to-58% and non-fairgrounds events growing 29% during that same period.

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