His 29th year with the Missouri State Fair marks his last. Director Mel Willard says six years as director and 17 years of helping out is enough to make him feel proud… proud to leave what he says is a better fair in the hands of his successor. He specifically mentions the quality of the fair’s 100th anniversary in 2002 which he says brought back the heritage, tradition and history to the State Fair. Mel will retire January 1st. Acting Chairman of the State Fair commission, Elizabeth Shchlueter says the fair is loosing one of the its best assets. The State Fair Commission will meet Monday to update it’s description of the director’s position and to name an interim director. She says she hopes the position will be filled by April.