The Metro Fair Board and fairgrounds staff has tapped Nashville-based Rockhouse Partners to produce a 2010 state fair, while deciding not to hold a racing series at the facility’s racetrack.
Scheduled Sept. 10-19, the state fair will be co-operated by North American Midway Entertainment, which served as the vendor for last year’s state fair. Parties have reached a one-year contract. Rockhouse was chosen over three others who had vied to put on the state fair.
“We’ve looked at the tradition, and the opportunity, and the folks who have been involved with the state fair over the years,” Rockhouse co-founder Joe Kustelski said. “We’ve also looked at the interest from the community, and quite frankly we see a tremendous opportunity to keep the state fair going in 2010.”
Rockhouse is a technology-based entertainment agency that focuses on program creation, management and measurement, according to the company’s website.
Kustelski said the hope is to continue some of the recent state fair traditions, which have included a focus on green-energy and education. He said the 2010 state fair will also feature a musical component, but said he couldn’t elaborate.
This year’s fair will likely be the last one held at the 117-acre Nolensville Pike property, as Mayor Karl Dean has said he would like to explore redevelopment possibilities. Last week, he assigned a task force to explore the fairgrounds’ future.
“Having a private entity continue the state fair for one more year at no cost to the city is a good use of the site while we take this time to consider the long-term options that will best serve the surrounding community and our city as a whole,” Dean said in a written statement.
Though the state fair will carry on for one more year, the fairgrounds racetrack will not be used for traditional racing events. Instead, fairgrounds officials plan to work with two companies — Fastrax Entertainment and ABC Corp. — to book other events for the stadium.
“It was determined that the traditional five-or-six-month-long weekly race season was simply not financially feasible,” said Buck Dozier, executive director of the fairgrounds. “However, the 14,000-seat grandstand and the ancillary areas, including the track, can and should be utilized for other events for the remainder of 2010.”