Board adopts long range plan for Harrison County fairgrounds

Board adopts long range plan for Harrison County fairgrounds

HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - One Harrison County supervisor calls it a "diamond in the rough" that simply needs a little polish. The Board of Supervisors on Monday adopted a long range plan for the Harrison County fairgrounds.

Many folks recognize the Harrison County fairgrounds as home of the popular Gulf Coast Winter Classic horse show. But county leaders want so spread the word that the facility is so much more.

"We've looked at it from a physical standpoint, the site itself, and we've also looked at it from an operations, management and marketing perspective," said Allison Beasley, with South Mississippi Planning and Development District.

South Mississippi Planning & Development District presented that 35 page long range plan to county supervisors Monday morning.

"The board really needs to look at ultimately getting some funding sources for a significant enclosed arena. And you'd be surprised if you do that, and if it's done right, what would be available to come in here," said Supervisor Marlin Ladner.

Building a covered arena is among the recommendations in the report.

"Real excited. Because it gives us something to look into the future and see what's the best thing to do next," said Supervisor Angel Kibler-Middleton, who has made promoting and improving the fairgrounds among her priorities.

"We do need to get the message out there, what a great facility it is and what we have to offer for people that might want to come in from Louisiana and Alabama and have some events here, that it's not too far for them to go, but that would benefit us greatly," she said.

Among the recommendations in the report is a greater emphasis on marketing in order to book more events here at the fairgrounds.

"In terms of capital expenditures or Restore Act money, anything, you've got to plan on what you want to do with the fairgrounds. And I think this is exceptional," said Supervisor Kent Jones.

Along with the livestock and equestrian area, the fairgrounds property also includes the county soccer complex, along with sheriff department's county farm.

Greg Whitfield was recently hired by the county, to manage the fairgrounds and other recreation facilities.

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