Pandemic takes bite out of Mississippi outdoor shows

The COVID-19 pandemic has put on hold two outdoor shows scheduled for this year.

As expected, Mississippi’s oldest and newest outdoor shows have been postponed due to social-distancing restrictions related to the COVID 19 pandemic.

The Mississippi Wildlife Foundation said it will not hold its annual Wildlife Extravanganza in 2020. Ashlee Smith, MWF’s chief executive officer, said the combination of last year’s boycott of its event due to the organization’s opposition to the completion of the Yazoo Backwater Pumps and COVID 19 restrictions only allowing 25% of occupancy for indoor events led to the cancellation of what would have been the 34th annual Extravaganza.

Smith said new dates will have to be found “in a cooler time of the year” for a smaller outdoor and virtual event. Plans will be announced later.

A new show, the Mississippi Outdoor Expo, which took over the Extravaganza’s traditional dates the first weekend in August, and the Fairground/Trade Mart venue — prompting a lawsuit by the Mississippi Wildlife Federation — has also cancelled, with no plans going forward.

Don Brazil, CEO of the sponsoring Foundation for Mississippi Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks, said the farming and outdoor show is a victim solely of COVID 19. He said that a new date could be selected, but that “a lot of things would have to fall into place” for a show to take place.

About Bobby Cleveland 1346 Articles
Bobby Cleveland has covered sports in Mississippi for over 40 years. A native of Hattiesburg and graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi, Cleveland lives on Ross Barnett Reservoir near Jackson with his wife Pam.

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