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MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -
Fair preparations are underway and there's plenty of life at Garrett Coliseum now that efforts to save it from going under last year are continuing to unfold.
"Necessary upgrades, repairs done to the Coliseum, with half the money that the coliseum was taking in from the state in the past year, you've seen all of that done," Alabama House of Representatives member Joe Hubbard said.
Fresh paint on the building, upgrades to restrooms and a re-surfaced parking lot; operating on a budget that state representative Joe Hubbard says was cut in half.
"Were we were at $420,000 a year and ending up the year in the red. This year, we are going to end up in the black for half the money that it cost the tax payers of this state," Hubbard said.
That's thanks to the Garrett Coliseum Redevelopment Corporation: a public, private partnership between the city, county and state as well as the Alabama National Fair and the Kiwanis club.
"There are a lot of people that are coming together, not just to make the fair happen, but to make this facility possible," Hubbard said.
Mayor Todd Strange says the right people are now at the table to push the coliseum forward.
"It's an important thing to have in Montgomery, not only for the fair, but we got the rodeo and there are a number of other opportunities," Strange said.
Coliseum manager and director of the Alabama National Fair Randy Stephenson and crews have been working to keep it going.
"It's been a great partnership. We look forward to continuing to work them to keep Garrett Coliseum open because it's a vital part of this community," Stephenson said.
Stephenson says you can expect a big livestock show, a circus, 40 food vendors, 70 rides and much more at the fair. Remember parking is free.
The fair provides a $6.5 million dollar economic impact for the River Region.
Opening day is Friday, or "WSFA Day," with reduced admission.. And all the fun runs thru Sunday, October 14th.
For a link to times, acts, and prices go to the "Write It Down" section of www.wsfa.com.