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HURON, S.D. (AP) -- South Dakota State Fair Manager Susan Hayward has resigned and taken a job in her native Salt Lake City as a city hall spokeswoman.
The resignation, which is effective Oct. 19, is for family reasons, she said. "My children and grandchildren are so far away, I feel that I'm missing what life is all about -- family," Hayward wrote in her resignation letter. "My parents' health has not been the best these past two years, and they need me closer to help care for them too."
The fair has struggled with revenue and attendance in recent years but reported a 13.5 percent jump in attendance this year, with an estimated 151,000 taking in the five-day fair.
Hayward, who has managed the fair the last five years, wrote that saving it has been an "uphill struggle" but worth it. "I will miss every aspect of the fair and all the people I have had the opportunity of working with over the years," she wrote.
Before moving to Huron, Hayward was public relations-events coordinator for the Utah State Fair. Her new position in Salt Lake City is manager of public communications for the city.
State Agriculture Secretary Bill Even, who oversees the fair, said he's sad to see Hayward go but understands that family is important to her. "We will try to find someone as good as Susan and keep it going in a positive direction," he said.
(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)