- Associated Press - Thursday, December 18, 2014

HURON, S.D. (AP) - A longtime official with the Huron Chamber and Visitors Bureau has been named manager of the South Dakota State Fair.

Peggy Woolridge Besch has been with the Huron CVB for 23 years and has been its president and CEO the last 14 years. She also serves on the board of directors for the South Dakota Visitor Industry Alliance, South Dakota Chamber and Economic Development Council and South Dakota Convention and Visitors Bureau Association.

“Peggy has the professional experience for this position, and I look forward to working with her to lead our state fairgrounds staff and the many dedicated volunteers,” state Agriculture Secretary Lucas Lentsch said in a statement Thursday.

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Woolridge Besch succeeds Jerome Hertel, who left after seven years to become general manager of the Alaska State Fair.

The South Dakota State Fair Park spans 165 acres, holds 90 buildings, hosts 94 events and attracts an average of more than 250,000 visitors annually.

“The State Fair has a proud tradition and now I have the chance to add to the magic,” Woolridge Besch said. “I look forward to forging new relationships and collaborations in order to blaze new trails for the benefit of the state, the Fair and Huron.”

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