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New York State Fair Director leaves job after two years

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  • Staff Report 

Sean Hennessey, the Director of the New York State Fair, has announced his departure to take up a new position with the state Department of Labor as the regional representative in the North Country. This move, effective just six months after Governor Kathy Hochul officially appointed him, is aimed at bringing Hennessey closer to his family in the Watertown area.


During his two-year tenure, Hennessey played a pivotal role in reviving the State Fair post-COVID-19 pandemic, contributing to a significant recovery in attendance. Last year, the fair attracted 932,699 visitors, marking the highest attendance since the onset of the pandemic. Hennessey’s leadership period was crucial for the fair, especially after the event had to be canceled in 2020 for the first time since World War II due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Julie LaFave, previously the fair’s operations director hired in 2023, steps in as interim director. LaFave expressed readiness and enthusiasm for leading the 2024 fair preparations and aims to build upon Hennessey’s successful tenure. The search for a new director is underway as the fair looks forward to its 2024 season starting August 21 through September 2.



Categories: New York StateNews