Southern Illinois native named new state fair manager

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Illinois State Fair has a new manager.

Luke Sailer of Chatham was appointed the Department of Agriculture’s Division Manager of Fair and Promotional Services. He previously was assistant Illinois State Fair manager. In addition to the state fair in Springfield, the division manages the Du Quoin State Fair, county fairs and horse racing.

The 25-year-old Carmi native succeeds Kevin Gordon, who retired after leading the fair in 2016 and 2017.

Agriculture Director Raymond Poe says the management experience Sailer gained as assistant state fair manager and his southern Illinois agricultural background make for a “winning combination.” Sailer says he wants to build on the success of past fairs “while continuing to modernize our events going forward.”

Sailer is the fourth state fair manager in three years.