Future location of Mid-South Fair not yet determined - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Future location of Mid-South Fair not yet determined

By Chip Washington - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

SOUTHAVEN, MS (WMC-TV) - The Mid-South Fair is making a stop in Southaven before moving to its permanent home in Tunica, but some insiders wonder if the Fair will ever really move farther south.

The Fair begins next Friday, and for the first time will take place someplace other than the Memphis fairgrounds. The DeSoto Civic Center plays host this year, but the question of what happens next has yet to be resolved.

To say it has been a challenge would be an understatement for Fair General Manager Jim Rout, who says things are moving along.

"It's headed in that direction," Rout said Tuesday. "Calmness has not set in. Chaos has a little bit, but it is headed in that direction."

Officials plan to eventually move the fair to Tunica, but it could be held in DeSoto County again next year.  Rout says that depends on several factors, most importantly, timing. 

"We won't know that until we go through the winter, know what the weather's going be, and also look at our financial package to see exactly how it's going work out with the lending institutions," Rout said.

In other words, according to Route, it all come down to economics. The budget for the annual event is over $70 million, and in order to make it happen, fair officials need help from Tunica and the state, which are both suffering financially.

Rout said there will be an alternative for those who don't want venture far away from home: the first ever Memphest will be held at the Mid-South Fairgrounds and will run during the exact same time as the fair.  It will include rides, food and live musical entertainment.

Copyright 2009 WMC-TV. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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