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Cleveland County Fair interim manager named

SHELBY Bobby Jenks of Vale has been named interim manager of the Cleveland County Fair.

Jenks is the president of Jenks Concessions. He’s a member of the National Independent Concessionaires Association and has been providing speciality foods for hundreds of state and county fairs since 1978.

Since 2002, Jenks has served as concession locations supervisor at the Cleveland County Fair.

In July, Cleveland County Fair Manager Calvin Hastings resigned from the post he’d held for two years.

Hastings, the owner and operator of three radio stations and a shopping publication, said the businesses were taking more of his time. The decision to resign, he said, wasn’t influenced by pending lawsuits stemming from last year’s E. coli outbreak at the fair that resulted in a toddler’s death.

Hastings had said the fair association would implement all the recommendations to make the fair safer that were announced in June by the Cleveland County Fair Study Commission.

This year the fair runs Sept. 26-Oct. 5. The fairgrounds also will host the American Legion World Series concerts on Aug. 10 and the return on Sept. 1 of the amateur radio Hamfest event, which moved to the Gaston County town of Dallas five years ago.

Andy Elmore, chairman of the Board of Directors of the Cleveland County Fair Association, said applications for a permanent manager will be taken after the 2013 fair.

In a prepared statement, Elmore said Jenks “provides the type of experience with all aspects of our fair that we need during this transition time. He is a long-term veteran of fair operations and understands the fair business from inside the gates.”

Jenks said that given his experience, “I am confident I can make this train run on time and in an efficient manner….My main objective is to preserve and maintain the heritage, history and integrity of the Cleveland County Fair.”

DePriest: 704-868-7745; on Twitter @jdepriest
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