Jerry Hammer, general manager of the Minnesota State Fair since 1997, was inducted this week into the International Association of Fairs and Expositions Hall of Fame.
Hammer is a 44-year veteran of the State Fair, starting as a high school student working in the greenhouse.
“I’m reluctant to accept this award for me personally, but I will very gladly accept it on behalf of everybody at the Minnesota State Fair,” Hammer said, when accepting the award in Las Vegas.
Minnesota’s State Fair won other awards at the IAFE ceremony:
- Award of Excellence for Special Agricultural Educational Exhibit for its presentation of EquiMania!, a horse exhibit with full-size skeletons and anatomy models, dental tools, tail-braiding and leg-wrapping activities, an 80-foot-long digestive tract, and stations detailing horse behavior, rider safety and careers.
- Award of Excellence for Promotion Event for Military Appreciation Day, when thousands of Vietnam Era Veterans were honored in a “Welcome Home” parade through the fairgrounds.
Also, State Fair board member Al Paulson of Shevlin was presented with the IAFE’s Heritage Award, for his decades of volunteer service to the Clearwater County Fair in Bagley.
The 128-year old IAFE represents more than 1,100 fairs around the world.