Friday, June 14, 2013

Fair Board and State Fair association to talk long term goals in Joint meeting.

The Board of Fair Commissioners will meet in a Special Joint Meeting with the Tennessee State Fair Association Board of Directors,on June 18th, at 1PM.  The meeting will take place at
Metro Southeast, 1417 Murfreesboro Pike, Green Hills Room, Nashville, TN. An agenda item for discussion is "Long-term goals for the Tennessee State Fair" and "strategies for working together." To see the agenda, follow this link.

The Fair Commissions Board is the metro agency responsible for the fair grounds. There duties and function are these:

 It shall be the duty of the Metropolitan Board of Fair Commissioners to exercise all the powers and perform all the duties heretofore or hereafter imposed on the Board of Fair Commissioners of Davidson County, within the limitation of its budget appropriation and funds otherwise available, employ and fix the compensation of such personnel as may be necessary; and to perform such other duties as may be imposed upon the Board by ordinance.

All activities being conducted on the premises of the Tennessee State Fairgrounds as of December 31, 2010, including, but not limited to, the Tennessee State Fair, Expo Center Events, Flea Markets, and Auto Racing, shall be continued on the same site. No demolition of the premises shall be allowed to occur without approval by ordinance receiving 27 votes by the Metropolitan Council or amendment to the Metropolitan Charter.

The Tennessee State Fair Association Board of Directors is a state agency responsible for the state fair. This is there mission:
The specific purpose for which the new board was formed is to promote the education of agriculture, horticulture, the creative arts, performing arts, industry, commerce, recreation, economic development, natural resources, and related areas to the public, through the planning, promotion, conduct, and operation of an annual Tennessee State Fair.
There is no State requirement that the State Fair be held at the Tennessee State Fairgrounds. The State Fair could choose to go elsewhere or Metro could chose to host a fair that is not the state fair, or at least that is the assumption they are operating under. Last year, a dispute over money almost led to the Fair grounds not hosting the state fair and instead hosting another entity to bring a fair to Nashville. To read about the conflict last year, follow this link.

The amendment to the charter listed above in red specifically says the Fair Commissions Board will continue to host the Tennessee State Fair, however the city cannot compel the State to hold the State Fair at the fairgrounds. Our State Fair is not on as large a scale or as an important an event as other state fairs.  Some county fairs in Tennessee are larger and more prestigious than our state fair.  The Tennessee Valley A and I Fair in Knoxville is a bigger deal than our "state" fair. The future of the State Fair and the fair grounds continues to be uncertain. It is important that these two agencies work closely together.

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