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Friday, June 15th, 2012

Fair manager resigns

Board fills post for now; fair starts in 8 weeks

By Shelley Grieshop
CELINA - An interim Mercer County Fair manager was appointed Thursday night following the resignation earlier this week of Steve Schulte.
Cara Muhlenkamp of Celina will fill the position until a search can be conducted for a permanent replacement, fair officials said. She has worked for the fair board on a part-time basis for eight years.
Schulte of Celina held the job since 2008 and is leaving to pursue a new position. His resignation is effective July 3.
"This has been a tough decision, as I believe in the Mercer County Agricultural Society and what we have accomplished as a fair board," he said.
He feels he's leaving the position in solid hands.
"Cara has worked in this office for several years and has the best interest for the ever-growing fairgrounds at heart," Schulte said.
Fair board president Jeff Selhorst said Schulte's contributions to the fair and fairgrounds are "amazing."
"His contribution has been extremely valuable. He really brought the fair to a new level," said Selhorst, who's in his third year as president. "Steve's just been tremendous to work with."
The board is sad to see him go but wishes him the best in his new ventures, he added.
The growth of the fairgrounds was always Schulte's goal, Selhorst said. Among his accomplishments were the addition of the Wingfest event in September, increasing rentals of the buildings and grounds to small and large groups, adding the handicapped area in front of the grandstands and Junior Fair building renovations. He also spearheaded improvements to the horse barns and obtained a state permit that allowed an increase of the camping sites from 55 to 155 sites for year-round reservations.   
Schulte said he intends to stay local and support the fair.
"I'm not moving from the area. This is my home," he said. "The Mercer County Fair is (eight) weeks away and we have a lot of new events and attractions scheduled. I will be available to Cara and the board to make this the best fair ever."
Muhlenkamp is familiar with all aspects of the fairgrounds, officials said. She also is active in the community with fundraisers and events and looks forward to her new role.
"I want to thank the fair board for this opportunity," she said. "I look forward to doing what it takes to keep this fairgrounds growing."
This year's fair will be held Aug. 10-16. Information on activities can be found at www.mercercountyohiofair.com.
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