Christmas Made in the South could move to Columbia County

Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2013 1:59 PM
Last updated Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013 1:27 AM
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Christmas Made in the South could be the next annual Augusta event to move to Columbia County.

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Vendors sell arts, crafts and other items during the Christmas Made in the South event at James Brown Arena in November. The event might move to Columbia County in 2014.  JON-MICHAEL SULLIVAN/FILE
JON-MICHAEL SULLIVAN/FILE
Vendors sell arts, crafts and other items during the Christmas Made in the South event at James Brown Arena in November. The event might move to Columbia County in 2014.

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.

Comments (14) Add comment
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Little Lamb
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Little Lamb 02/26/13 - 03:15 pm
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Pie

The amount of pie filling is still about the same. Only now we've got a lot more crusts to choose from.

David Parker
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David Parker 02/26/13 - 03:32 pm
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mmmmm pie

mmmmm pie

triscuit
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triscuit 02/26/13 - 04:12 pm
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That Christmas Event is not

That Christmas Event is not as popular/large as it used to be. The past few years a lot of the exhibit space at the JBA has been empty. Maybe the JBA is too large and that is also factoring in other reasons. What does the JBA charge this event to use the space?

Just My Opinion
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Just My Opinion 02/26/13 - 04:13 pm
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I wonder who asked who about

I wonder who asked who about moving the site? Is Columbia County "poaching" on Augusta/Richmond events, or are the people running those events initiating the talks of change? Not sure it really matters...business is business, I guess. Frankly, as a resident of CC, I'm glad to have these events coming on over.

soapy_725
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soapy_725 02/26/13 - 06:38 pm
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Where is countyman??
Unpublished

Another TEE center prospect Gone with The wind. Swoooosh!!! The air is leaving the Reynold's St Venue faster that countyman can roast a wiener. Shuffling on down to downtown.

The ARC ethics committee has booked weekly meetings at the TEE. They will coincide with the Weekly Prayer Breakfast.

Karnac sees the Futurity leaning toward Aiken Co.

Do the AC employees get to park for free at the TEE?

Adam Bomb
357
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Adam Bomb 02/27/13 - 09:17 am
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Sure Columbia County, take everything we've got.

The rather dismal James Brown arena has hosted this marginal event for many years. It's marginal because the people attending don't have much extra money to buy things. With the population leaving Richmond and moving to Columbia County I understand why this is coming up. My only question is how on Earth are they going to move the Airport? Hmmmm......

Little Old Lady
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Little Old Lady 02/27/13 - 09:27 am
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Christmas Made in the South

I have assisted a family member who has exhibited at Christmas Made in the South for 20 years. We have watched the deterioration of the James Brown Arena. We have to stand on the ice to exhibit, the building is outdated and no effort is made to upgrade or even to repair it. The food is terrible and people wonder why it has declined and is now marginal. I could tell you horror stories about JBA. The owners of CMS have been looking for a new venue for several years. They have even considered moving it to a different city which would be a loss for our area. I am very pleased that they found one that seems to be a good fit. They were wooed by the TEE center but there is no parking there. With a decent venue, the show will become the great event it used to be.

soapy_725
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soapy_725 02/27/13 - 11:04 am
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The CC Regional Airport will be located adjacent....
Unpublished

to the the CC Regional Hospital and Clinics. The complex will also include a multi use stadium, convention center and parking garage. The location will be determined by the same centrally located logic that moved the courthouse to Evans (towne). The land acquisition will be guided by the rules of which local politician has available land to sell to CC.

Convenience is the key. Every CC taxpayer has the constitution rights to medical, entertainment, fast food, gasoline, Wi Fi, schools, drugs, grocery, bike trails and at least one strip mall less than 5 minutes of their home. A goal worth funding.

The only downside is that the majority of auto accidents occur with five miles of one's abode, the accident rate will rise and related insurance premiums.

JohnLane1
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JohnLane1 02/27/13 - 11:35 am
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Christmas Made in the South

Christmas Made in the South is a fun event just needs a new area. Our family has been going for over 20 years and love all the artists and craftsmen. I've never heard of any place in CC for it to move to though.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 02/27/13 - 01:56 pm
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I wonder if they could put

I wonder if they could put down ice in the Columbia County facility?

countyman
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countyman 02/27/13 - 02:18 pm
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The census says the

The census says the population of Richmond county is growing. The sky is always falling, but the Arts in the Heart/Masters/Ironman/Gay parade & festival/Westobou/Hispanic festival/Greek festival/ESI Ironman/Par 3 Party/Mayors Masters Reception/etc continues in Richmond County.

The James Brown arena just had 6 events in four days. The money raised during the Rock fore Dough is for the Augusta First Tee.

The airport set three straight passengers records, and non stop flights to DC exist now. The $7 million General Perry Smith pkwy is under construction, and the 200 acre industrial park.

rebellious
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rebellious 02/27/13 - 02:36 pm
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Let's

widen Wrightsboro Road to make it easier for Augusta residents to get to Grovetown and deposit their dollars there. Heck, let's just send a big wad of money to Columbia County and eliminate the chance for graft.

This makes me want to vomit, and yet we (Augusta) continue to facilitate the exit by not maintaining what we have. Wouldn't the TEE center have been an excellent venue for the CMITS.

HenryWalker3rd
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HenryWalker3rd 02/27/13 - 02:39 pm
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Countyman, when will they
Unpublished

Countyman, when will they upgrade the arena?

countyman
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countyman 02/27/13 - 03:20 pm
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The leaders of Columbia

The leaders of Columbia County wanted to attract some type of outlet development(Gateway), because over 90% of their residents shop outside the county. It's okay if some people living in Richmond County spend money in Columbia County.

Rebellious.. The majority of traffic along Wrightsboro rd once you past Barton Chapel is making a left onto Belair rd. The new residential developments on Belair rd and Jimmie Dyess are located in Richmond County. The Avalon apartment complex, new apartment complex opening soon on Flowing Wells, multiple new commercial buildings near Sue Reynolds, Sue Reynolds expansion, etc are other reasons for the expansion. Many of the vehicles heading up Wrighstboro rd make a right onto Jimmie Dyess heading towards Martinez. The actual city of Grovetown is not the Gateway area, or near the Wrightsboro/Jimmie Dyess intersection.

Check out this new proposal for South Augusta. 20k to 50k seating capacity.
http://www2.wjbf.com/news/2013/feb/27/music-park-coming-south-augusta-ar...

Henry.. I'm not sure, because they recently upgraded the arena. The best option is for a brand new one.

Little Old Lady
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Little Old Lady 02/27/13 - 03:25 pm
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New arena

Countyman,

I completely agree we need a new arena. That is the only place with enough parking to accomodate a large event. The TEE center has very limited parking available and it will get worse. I would love to see a modern, large real convention center built at the JBA area. Then tear down the old arena for parking. We certainly need that to bring in even more events. I don't know when or what they did to upgrade the arena, but as of November 2012 it was in bad shape.

JohnLane1
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JohnLane1 02/27/13 - 04:51 pm
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Why no parking at the TEE?

What were they thinking when they built the TEE ctr to have no parking? Is it just for conventions? They should of made plans to have tons of parking then they could use it for trade shows, etc. Spend some $$$ on JBA and you get the concerts, all is well.

GnipGnop
11905
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GnipGnop 02/27/13 - 07:55 pm
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And just who....

is paying for this music park?

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