WJBF News Channel 6 has learned that a long-time, popular craft show will not be returning to the Augusta market in 2014.
Bob Hunt, the director of the Christmas Made in the South shows, confirms that Augusta is not on the schedule for this year.
The Matthews, NC based franchise has enjoyed many years in the CSRA, in large part due to the support of the former Fatman's Forest, the popular store for all seasons that was a fixture for decades on Laney-Walker Boulevard.
"Unfortunately, we are more devastated than anybody. It's a great group down there at the James Brown Arena, they're done whatever we need. But over the years attendance has consistently gone down. Back in the day, when Fatman's was such a big part of it, we had people waiting to get inside- someone would have to leave to allow another patron to come in"
Hunt says he feels a better space, with adequate parking and easy accessibility, would make a big difference. He has visited the relatively new downtown TEE Center- which he hoped would fit the bill. However, because of parking problems and other issues, it will not be adequate.
Hunt also made a day trip to Grovetown, to tour the new Columbia County Gateway Exhibition Center, near the Walmart at Horizon South Parkway. Unfortunately, he says that space is entirely too small to house the 200 or so vendors who like to participate in the Augusta exhibition.
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