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Jackie Nokes returned to her job this week as director of the Utah State Fair, saying the annual exposition will be a "fantastic, exciting" fair and urging the public to attend.

"We just want everyone to come and enjoy it," Nokes said about the fair, which begins an 11-day run on Thursday, Sept. 8.The director was asked by Joe Jenkins, director of the Department of Community and Economic Development, to take three weeks of paid administrative leave over concerns related to her health. She said she feels great and is excited to be making final plans with her staff for the annual fair, beginning with a 5 p.m. parade and program at the Utah State Fairpark.

Nokes, who was expecting family members from out of town and whose 97-year-old mother has been in ill health, took a week of vacation after the leave time. The leave time, which Nokes resisted, is "water under the bridge," and Nokes declined to comment fur-ther except to say she has had "positive support from individuals all over the state . . . People have been wonderful."

Fair board chairman William R. Shaw said Nokes "has done a great job."