JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - If you’ve passed the State Fairgrounds recently, you’ve probably noticed a lot of progress on the new Trademart building.
So, what does it look like on the inside?
State Agriculture Commissioner Andy Gipson gave me an exclusive walk-through of the 30-million dollar project Thursday.
“So, this ticket office will serve events at the Trade Mart and the Coliseum. For when we have the rodeo for example,” said Gipson.
You can hear the pride in Agriculture Commissioner Andy Gipson’s voice, over the noise of construction, as he shows off the new Mississippi Trademart, especially when it comes to the homegrown products that are being used to build it.
Gipson said, “And the genuine Mississippi Trade Mart is going to be finished with 100-percent Mississippi wood.”
There’s a massive new kitchen.
“That kitchen will service both the Trademart and the Coliseum and we have three cafes where you actually order your food sit down and eat here in the corridor between the Trademart and the Coliseum,” said Commissioner Gipson.
And speaking of the Coliseum, it’s also getting a makeover with new lights, new seating, paint job and more.
But with the new facility, these are new times and there are some new guidelines.
Gipson said, “Since the outbreak of COVID-19, every event that was scheduled on the fairgrounds was canceled from about the middle of March all the way through July, so we’re waiting to see what the summer’s going to bring, but the bottom line is we can have horse shows, agriculture livestock shows here and we’re being told that for any indoor events of more than a thousand people, there will be some restrictions that will be in place.”
The only upside to the COVID-19 outbreak, said Gipson, is that construction is now ahead of schedule, and completion will likely be middle of the year, rather the end of the year.
What about the State Fair, you may ask? After all, it is one of the biggest events held here.
Well, Commissioner Gipson told me he’s waiting for guidelines from health officials, but he says he’s confident that show will go on.