On Nashvile’s Fair Fight

Some supporters of the Tennessee State Fair hope Gov. Bill Haslam’s veto pen will make another rare appearance soon, setting aside state legislation that would put the fair in new hands, according to The Tennessean.
But other backers say new oversight is exactly what the fair needs three years after Metro government, which continues to own the fairgrounds as well as the legal rights to the name Tennessee State Fair, decided to stop running the annual event and began contracting with other groups to put it on.
“We were concerned that in the event that Metro said no more fair, there would be no entity in place to ensure that we continued to have a fair,” said Rhedona Rose, executive vice president of the Tennessee Farm Bureau. “It’s time to look forward and figure out how we can have the best state fair in the country.”
The Farm Bureau and the Tennessee Department of Agriculture — part of Haslam’s administration — helped write the legislation, which authorizes the agriculture commissioner to create a new state commission to oversee the annual event.
The fair has been held at the fairgrounds, a 117-acre site a few miles south of downtown, since 1906. The plan, which awaits Haslam’s signature, has drawn criticism from Metro’s fair board and from Metro Council members, who voted unanimously Tuesday to ask the governor to veto it

Leave a Reply