As the new North Dakota State Fair manager of commercial exhibits, Tracy Pelzer deals with a lot of people coming from a variety of different backgrounds.
"We sell exhibitor spots to everyone from farm machinery to campers to food vendors, you name it," she said.
Her current professional life mirrored several years of her private life as the spouse of an airman in the United States Air Force.
Submitted Photo •
Tracy Pelzer, her husband, Roger, and their two children spent three and a half years in northern Japan as part of Roger’s Air Force career.
A Max native, Pelzer's journey around the world began after she married Roger, now a retired master sergeant, shortly after graduating from Minot State University with a degree in finance.
After a short station in Florida, the couple made the 7,500 mile trip to Japan, where the couple was stationed for the next three and a half years. It was the highlight of their Air Force-sponsored adventures.
"We lived in northern Japan, not like in Tokyo where it's overpopulated. We lived by the mountains and the oceans," she said. "The people were very friendly and the weather was great. We got snow but it never seemed to dip below 40."
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After the majestic Japanese voyage, the Pelzer family then made a two-year stop in New Jersey before a special assignment at Minot Air Force Base enabled them to return to their North Dakota roots in 2005 - exactly where they wanted to be.
"Between the heat in the South and the people on the East Coast, I wouldn't want to live anywhere but North Dakota," she said. "The family still all lives in Max and living in Minot provides plenty of opportunities for the kids."
Shortly after getting settled, Pelzer was hired in August 2006 as the assistant for the accounting and commercial exhibitors department at the North Dakota State Fair, where she helped then-exhibitor manager Renae Korslien book the fair's hundreds of exhibitors.
In March, Pelzer took over her boss' job as commercial exhibitor manager after Korslien was promoted to general manager in February.
"Having been the assistant before really helped me out because I already knew what to do and what needed to be done," she said. "It's been a lot of fun so far, things are good. The fair was so good last year that it's been easy to get (exhibitor) people to come. The word of mouth has been great."
Despite the booking ease, Pelzer said exhibitors at this year's fair will be bringing new and exciting additions to entice fair-goers.
"We have a lot of existing exhibitors who are expanding their space to bring in more products, but we also have a lot of new stuff," she said. "We'll have everything from info booths and western clothing to campers and farm machinery. Pretty much anything you can think of, it will be here."
Before the weeklong, organized chaos of the State Fair begins this July, Pelzer said she and her family will once again be taking in the natural North Dakota beauty during the Kersten Family Reunion this Fourth of July at Lake Metigoshe as well as taking in a Green Bay Packers game this fall before the pheasant hunting season begins.
"It's nice being home again," she said.