County fair and rodeo kick off this week

County fair and rodeo kick off this week

WALNUT RIDGE, AR (KAIT) - A longtime event in Lawrence County was in jeopardy earlier this year when storms hammered the area.

However, officials are hopeful that the event will bring a much-needed boost to the area economy as well as help residents.

The Lawrence County Rodeo starts this weekend while the Lawrence County Fair begins Wednesday, Aug. 16.

Winds caused severe damage to the rodeo arena at the Lawrence County Fairgrounds. James Ratliff, who serves at the president of the Lawrence County Fair Association, said there is about a $50,000 boost in revenue for the county and that the event is important.

Ratliff said crews were on a tight schedule to repair the arena before the rodeo.

"It wiped out this whole side of our bleachers seats and our fence and our poles and our lighting. We had an insurance guy come on we had $90,000 worth of damage," Ratliff said.

The work on the arena was completed last week and Ratliff said if the crews had not gotten the work done, the rodeo would have been canceled.

There is also an economic impact, Ratliff said, noting restaurants and hotels are expected to be busy this week.

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