Gregg County fair opening after fairgrounds used for evacuations

As one set of temporary residents leave the Gregg County Fairgrounds, another group is moving in. The Gregg County Fair will open its 59th edition early next week.

KLTV 7's Bob Hallmark has more on how rain or shine, hurricane or evacuation center, the show will go on.

As emergency workers pack up FEMA supplies from the Expo Building, Billy Clay is busy trying to organize the 59th Jaycees Gregg County Fair.

"Everything's been coordinated between us and them with evacuees and the outlets and everything here we worked hand in hand and are in the process of moving everything out now and look to be ready Tuesday to kick it off."

The transformation has already begun.

As evacuees were picking up their pets at the grounds, vendors were arriving.

"It was such a relief when we found you all I don't know what to say we couldn't leave them home to drown."

"Vendors are coming in to decorate the hall out of Houston, so we've pushed it back a couple of days working with the city to get all this stuff moved,"

Even without complications, there's an enormous amount of work to be done, this Expo Hall and the Fairgrounds outside have to be set up in time, and they are taking into account that other problems could arise.

3 years ago, Clay opened the fair, while he had Katrina evacuees staying in the Expo Center.

"Through rainstorms, floods, tornados, hurricanes...long as you have cooperation on both sides you can make it work," said Clay. "One way or another, we'll get it done."

The 59th Longview Jaycees Gregg County Fair will be held September 9-13. General admission is five dollars, and kids six and under get in free.

Bob Hallmark, reporting.