An overwhelming positive experience was reported with more than 575,000 attendees during the nine nights of the fair, the largest turnout since 2013. A positive experience was also reported between fairgrounds and new ride operators, Riethoffer Shows, which brought in new successful spectacular rides and the addition of mega-pass value tickets.
The committee reported additional street names on fairgrounds property with the addition of roads to be named for Johnny Trice and Stratton Bone in the near future.
Jeff Joines stepped down after 11 and a half years as chairman committee. Joines said he looks forward to the future work and success of the fairgrounds, the James E. Ward Agricultural Center and the committee.
“I think that with the help of a great committee, and the county commission, we’ve been able to leave the Ag Center better now than what it was when I got on there,” said Joines.
“I know that the new chairman and the Ag Center committee will continue to make the Ag Center better. I’ve got full faith in all of those people on the committee. Larry Tomlinson had a vision for the Ag Center, and I know that Quinton Smith, the new Ag Center director, has a vision for it, too, and I’ve got confidence in Quinton and the Ag Center committee to continue to make the Ag Center better.”
The committee introduced a motion to change the Expo Center contract where one-day events would be offered a one-year contract as opposed to a multi-year contract, to better use the space and make sure the center continues to turn a profit. The committee passed the motion unanimously.
An Ag Center promotional video was shown that showcases the variety of spaces, services and options for use of the fairgrounds.
The committee discussed the need to rebrand the space of the James E. Ward Agricultural Center and Community Center to the “Wilson County Fairgrounds and the James E. Ward Agricultural Center” to better communicate to potential vendors the variety of uses throughout the fairgrounds from Fiddlers Grove to the Expo Center to the multitude of permanent stages and event spaces. This rebrand will focus on digital media marketing.
Upcoming Expo Center events will include the Farmer’s Corn Maze that will open on Saturday, September 29, and the Dancing Lights of Christmas in November and December, which will include an expanded variety of light displays.