Jamie Parr named new State Fair executive director

Jamie Parr has been named the new executive director of the Nebraska State Fair.
Jamie Parr has been named the new executive director of the Nebraska State Fair.(Nebraska State Fair/KSNB)
Published: Dec. 16, 2022 at 2:18 PM CST
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GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - Jaime Parr is the new executive director of the Nebraska State Fair.

The State Fair Board approved Parr’s appointment at its meeting on Friday after naming her interim executive director in October.

Parr, who had been serving as deputy executive director, took over from former director Bill Ogg.

”We are pleased and proud to have a native Nebraskan serving as executive director of the Nebraska State Fair,” board Chairman Bob Haag said. “Jaime’s longevity with the fair, knowledge of the institution and love of all things Nebraska made her the ideal choice.”

Haag said during the meeting that they received 22 applications for the job. The top two vote getter from the board were interviewed and during Friday’s meeting they made the decision to offer the job to Parr. The board voting yes to the decision.

Parr told Local4 it was surreal. She said it was something she had been hoping for the last couple of months but actually having the board make the motion and vote, she says was pretty special.

”I’m thrilled to be taking this position on a permanent basis,” Parr said. “The fair has been such a big part of my life, as it has been for many Nebraskans. As a team, we’ll work together to ensure that the Nebraska State Fair continues to offer something for everyone.”

Parr added that she’s grateful for working with Bill Ogg. She said working with him as his deputy director helped prepare her, making her feel confident this time around to apply for the position.

She says she’s worked with a number of executive directors over the years and she’s learned something for each one.

“I’m up for the challenge,” she said.

Parr grew up in Fremont and earned an associate’s degree in accounting from Southeast Community College and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Doane College.

While still a student at Doane, she began working for the fair as a seasonal employee in 1998. With the exception of four years in the early 2000s, Parr has worked for the State Fair ever since and was part of the team that brought the fair to Grand Island in 2010.

Over the years, Parr served as a receptionist, space rental manager, facility director and deputy executive director. She also filled the top job on an interim basis in 2020.

Parr is a graduate of the Institute of Fair Management and a Certified Fair Executive (CFE).

The 2023 Nebraska State Fair will be from Aug. 25 through Sept. 4, and the Aksarben Stock Show will be Sept. 21 through 24, both in Grand Island.