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Jackson County Approved For Fairgrounds Upgrades Grant

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Jackson County Approved For Fairgrounds Upgrades Grant

Jackson County has been approved for $75,000 in grant money for fairgrounds upgrades.

Mayor Randy Heady said that they originally allocated the fund match in December of 2020. He said that the grant will be used for some much-needed upgrades to bring the facility

“That’s going to put central heating and air in the building, and that’s highly needed,” Heady said. “It’s also going to fix the restrooms and make that more handicap accessible. We have that already, but they’re just in disrepair.”

Heady said that they also plan on getting some cost-effective LED lighting and pouring new sidewalks. He said that the upgrades to the fairgrounds could open the door for new and better events. Heady said that one of his biggest goals will be to eventually redo the horse arena. He said that while it isn’t in disrepair, it needs a lot of work to put on a show.

Heady said that they stopped having a county fair in the 1980s because it wasn’t a revenue generator. He said that before COVID, he had plans to try and start an “old-timey fair.”

“When I was a kid and a teenager we used to have old-timey county fairs over there,” Heady said. “Where you brought canned goods and you brought baked goods, you brought produce like corn and tomatoes and you got it judged. You had a quilt judge and you had all these things. And now you’ve got the Chick Chains that are put on by UT Extension. And before the pandemic, I was working with Ut extension and having a goat show and a chicken show, and doing that over at the fairgrounds and going ahead and doing the old-timey fair. Well, one of the things is that the facilities were not up to par.”

Heady said that they originally sent the architectural plans to the state in May of last year. He said that with the plans approved, the next steps will be to put the work out for bid.

Heady said that there are no current plans to bring back an official county fair, but that he dreams it could happen eventually.


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