Today is Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Turning ground on Expo Center

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A workman uses a trackhoe to move dirt on the Expo Center site at the James E. Ward Agricultural Center. DALLUS WHITFIELD / The Wilson Post

Wilson County Expo Center Marketing Director Charity Toombs is currently in negotiations with interested parties hoping to host events at the center in late 2016.

Details could not be released at this time; however, Toombs was confident in the amount of attention the Expo Center has gotten since ground was broken on the upcoming event destination in November.

"Exciting things are coming," she told The Wilson Post on Thursday, adding that folks wanting to visit Wilson County have listed our close proximity to Nashville, local restaurants and amenities as drawing factors.

Wilson County Mayor Randall Hutto said that inquiries have come from the types of shows and events, such as CrossFit competitions, that Wilson County traditionally "hasn't had before."

Dirt was being moved on the location, at the James E. Ward Ag Center in Lebanon, earlier this week. Hutto said the next step is to pour the foundation. "We are in the process of making sure all the utilities, electrical poles, etc. are moved and ready to be used," he said. "We've had a lot of help from the City of Lebanon. Jeff Baines and his crew are making sure this is an easy transition."

Progress is being documented and is available for the public to view online. Toombs said Manous Design created a 3D video that will soon be posted on the web page The video offers a walk-thru view of what the Expo Center will look like. "It has been instrumental in gaining interest," Toombs said.

Hutto said the current goal is for the Expo Center to be up-and-running by Oct. 1, but that is just a "tentative date" and it could be open sooner or later depending on the weather.

Hutto hopes to capture not only out-of-state business, but businesses nearby. "We are working from our office on sending letters to all the businesses out there about having their company picnics, annual meetings, educational training and Christmas parties here," he said. "We want our business folks to be able to do that stuff here and not have to travel to have a good meeting."

"I think it's obviously saying, 'We've built this in your backyard,'" reiterated Toombs. "We are fortunate to have these industries here. It is an opportunity to keep it local and showcase the community."

Staff Writer Sabrina Garrett may be contacted at

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booking, Charity Toombs, construction, development, Expo Center, James E. Ward Ag Center, Randall Hutto, Wilson County, Wilson County Fairgrounds
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