JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - No more avoiding a clogged up Stadium Boulevard when the NEA District Fair comes to town, as the fairgrounds are now at their new home off of Highway 49 going towards Brookland.
Assistant Fair Manager, Mitch Johnson said this has been a long time coming.
"A month ago I never thought we'd be in the position we are now," Johnson said. Fair-goers, vendors and exhibitors are glad that's not the case though, as the fair is already proving to be bigger and better than in years past.
Leah Aldridge and her friends plan on going to the fair multiple times over the week-long affair. She said she's excited about the new location.
"It's a lot bigger...a lot...and more rides I think," Aldridge said. And she's right. Johnson told Region 8 News there are three to five new rides available on the midway this year.
Shelby Ray is in town from Pocahontas to show seven goats at the fair. She said she really enjoys how nice the new facility is.
"This is actually this biggest place I've shown," Ray told Region 8 News. "These are some really nice pens and it's just really nice here. I really like it."
The Jonesboro Exchange Club can vouch for that. They're set up right outside the exhibit building selling kettle corn. John Hardin with the club said he sees everyone's faces as they walk through the doors.
"Everybody seems just kind of in awe out here because last year, this was just one big ole pasture," Hardin said.
Any way you look at it, the NEA District Fair has become a better experience since moving to their new location. Not only has the area doubled in size, going from 37 to 80 acres, but a better layout is making getting around the fair much easier.
"We've got a new layout on the Midway, I think it's going to be more user friendly," Johnson said.
However, before visitors can get to the Midway, they will walk through the new exhibition building. It's 87,000 square feet and has heating and air conditioning. Sharron Turman is promoting the Miracle Field of Jonesboro inside the building, she says the new layout at the fair is really helping the exhibitors.
"Before they could just come in the gate and kind of just bypass the building and a lot of times they would just walk through so quick...but there's so many new things out here that they're really taking the time to stop and visit with vendors," Turman said.
Johnson said he hopes everyone gets a chance to stop by and visit the new fairgrounds at some point during the week.
"We just feel terrific about the location we're in and I hope everyone will be impressed. We just want you to come out and see us. Bring your family and just enjoy the fair," Johnson said.