Kansas fair manager resigns after state fair canceled

July 16, 2020 GMT

HUTCHINSON, Kan. (AP) — The general manager for the Kansas State Fair announced Thursday he has resigned, saying he is leaving to keep front-line workers employed after the fair was canceled amid pandemic concerns.

“The impact that COVID-19 has had and will continue to have on the Kansas State Fair will be significant,” Robin Jennison wrote in his resignation letter. “It is my intent that — in serving as the first casualty — it hopefully will lessen the impact on our other employees.”

The fair board voted last week to cancel the event for the first time in its 100-year history after several large vendors pulled out over coronavirus concerns.

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Jennison said he’d be surprised if the state fair was able to survive into next year without furloughs or layoffs, adding he could not in good conscience watch that happen, the Wichita Eagle reported.

“Having the highest-placed administrator surviving while front line essential employees bear the brunt is something I will not do,” he said.

Jennison served as the Secretary of the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism before starting with the fair in 2018

His last day will be sometime this month.