Editorial: Fair days will be a different experience now

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 20, 2004

We wish Howard Recknor a fond farewell &045; after 45 years in the fair business, the gentleman has certainly earned his retirement. And with 15 years on the Minnesota State Fair board, no one should question his commitment to hundreds of thousands of state fairgoers who have been touched by his work.

As a board member, he helped set policy for the state fair, which required a time commitment of about 40 days throughout the year to attend meetings and conventions.

The Minnesota State Fair is big business &045; bringing in $30 million a year and employs 2,100 during the 12-day event. About 1.9 million people visit the fair each year.

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Mr. Recknor’s comment, &uot;this old farmer’s been involved in something big,&uot; may just be an understatement.

It’s not difficult to imagine that he has been involved in almost every facet of the state fair, with all the years he worked on the board. But he liked the livestock area best.

Mr. Recknor got his start in fair work at the county level, where he served on the Freeborn County Fair Board beginning in the 1960s. He worked 30 years at that level, including a 25-year stint as fair manager.

As with most great things people participate in, he never anticipated his service would last so long, nor that he would have such an impact on an event that so many Minnsotans enjoy. He was asked to serve and he did his part &045; it just lasted 45 years.

Enjoy the Freeborn County Fair and the Minnesota State Fair this year, Mr. Recknor. In our minds, you’ve earned a free pass.