|Exclusive News and Interviews
New Delta Fair and Music Festival
Signs Geren Rides to provide midway of 50+ rides
By MCW Staff
Memphis - The Delta Fair and Music Festival will be making its debut late this summer in the Memphis event market. Scheduled to be held August 31 - Sept. 9, the event will be produced by Expo South, one of the largest event producers in the Mid-South. "We heard several rumors about the fate of the Mid-South Fair last year", said Miles Mueller, Director Of Outdoor Events for Expo South. "With Libertyland closing and the loss of the use of the coliseum for the rodeo, we decided to produce a new fair and provide a wide range of activities", said Mueller.
Expo South produces several events in Memphis and throughout the South. The primary focus of their business is consumer shows featuring boating, hunting, fishing and outdoor themes. The company also produces the Holiday Market Festival of Gifts in Memphis and Southaven, MS.
The fair will be held at Agricenter International, a large event center on the grounds of Shelby Farm, a 4,300 acre facility with an arena seating over 8,000, RV and camping areas and an 86,000 foot expo hall with over 350 exhibit spaces available. According to Mueller, the facility will give the fair the ability to have numerous activities during its run. Some of the planned events include a rodeo, a demolition derby, professional wrestling, lawn mower races, stunt bikes and four stages. Throughout the fair there will be magic shows, hypnotists, billiards tournaments and a production of "High School Musical".
Music will be a large focus of the event, drawing on Memphis' rich musical heritage. The main stage will have bigger name entertainment, a second stage dubbed the "Delta Coffeehouse", is a less formal, more intimate venue, and two smaller stages will be used exclusively for local entertainment. "We want to keep a steady flow of people throughout the grounds", said Mueller. Expo South has several large acts on hold for the event but specific names were not yet available.
A bit of controversy has arisen over the midway company for the event. Initial reports named Modern Midways as the ride provider but Mueller confirmed that Geren Rides had in fact been signed to provide the midway for the event. "We have been speaking with Glenn Geren for a while but he lacked some of the rides we were looking for. Later, he was able to secure the additional equipment required and we signed a contract with him", said Mueller. Geren will be providing at least 50 rides for the event and Mueller said organizers were hoping for even more. "You only have one chance for a first fair", he said, and "we want to make a great first impression."
Advertising will play an enormous role in the success of the fair and Mueller believes Expo South has a distinct advantage in this area. The company has excellent relationships with media companies through their promotion of other events in the market and they hope to leverage those relationships into a huge media blitz for the fair. "We will be spending the most money of any fair in the area", said Mueller.
The owner of Expo South, Mark Lovell, was out of the country and unavailable for comment on the fair and midway. We hope to interview him later in the week along with the midway companies involved in the negotiations to provide additional details so check back here often.