HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Mention the Harrison County Fairgrounds and for many people, the Winter Classics horse show comes to mind. And while that remains the largest show at the fairgrounds, expect plenty of new events here in 2017.
The new director of that facility has already booked 41 of the 52 available weekends. Among the new bookings: an American Polocrosse Association tournament and something called the "battle race" obstacle course.
"Normally happens in Baton Rouge, New Orleans, and Mandeville area. And that's going to bring a lot of people from Louisiana to Harrison County," Director Greg Whitfield told the Board of Supervisors Monday morning.
The Parks and Recreation director updated county supervisors about what's coming to the fairgrounds this year. Many of the bookings are coming here for the first time.
"At the fairgrounds, we have 19 new events coming this year. We have 41 weekends filled out of the 52 weekend year," Whitfield explained.
The fairgrounds is also getting some upgrades. Two new restroom and shower facilities are currently under construction to serve the multiple RV sites. And supervisors gave approval for new siding on several of the barns.
"We're building a first-class place out there. And we're going to have to put some money into it to do that," said Supervisor Connie Rockco.
"We're looking at an estimated gross revenue of just south of $175,000 this year, coming from the fairgrounds," Whitfield told the board.
So, what is Whitfield's secret to success? How did he manage to book 19 new events in this coming year? He says his strategy is straight forward.
" A lot of meetings, a lot of phone calls, and a lot of miles driven on my car. That's pretty much what it is," he said, smiling.
It's paying off, with 2017 shaping up to be one of the busiest years ever at the fairgrounds.
This year's Winter Classics horse show is just a month away.The annual event begins February 8th at the Harrison County Fairgrounds.