Barry Smith, the director of the Community and Leisure Division, told commissioners Tuesday during the Community and Emergency Services Committee meeting that organizers of the annual Christmas-themed craft show have indicated they want to move the event from James Brown Arena to the county’s exhibition hall at the Gateway center near Grovetown starting in 2014.
“He won’t make it this year, but Christmas Made in the South will be at the Gateway next year,” Smith said.
The exhibition hall is under construction, with completion expected in May.
Calls to Carolina Shows Inc., the producer of Christmas Made in the South, were not immediately returned.
If the event moves, it would be the fourth major annual event to leave Augusta for a Columbia County site, after Banjo-B-Que, Thunder Over Augusta and the recently announced move of the Rock Fore! Dough concert to the Lady Antebellum Pavilion from the First Tee site on Damascus Road.
A new Family Y will be a tenant of a portion of the facility, with the remainder available for events. County officials haven’t yet finalized rental fees or chosen a name for the $7.3 million facility, but they say they expect it to be the home of several events that have outgrown Savannah Rapids Pavilion.
The largest room at Savannah Rapids is less than half the size of the 15,000-square-foot main exhibition hall at the Gateway, said Sandy Bonner, the manager of the county’s Rentals and Facilities Department.