Businesses see impact of Sunbelt Ag Expo cancellation

Businesses see impact of Sunbelt Ag Expo cancellation
Sunbelt Ag Expo is one of the biggest shows of its kind in the world. (Source: WALB)

MOULTRIE, Ga. (WALB) - The Sunbelt Ag Expo would’ve been this week in Moultrie, and businesses are feeling it absence.

The Executive Director of the Expo and a Moultrie business owner say because of this cancellation, things are different, but they’re looking forward to next year.

“It’s still a sad time us not welcoming the world to Moultrie, Georgia this week," said Expo Director Chip Blalock.

Chip Blalock, Director, Sunbelt Ag Expo
Chip Blalock, Director, Sunbelt Ag Expo (Source: WALB)

More than 40 years of an exciting and busy week in October, now a much quieter scene in Moultrie.

Blalock said while it’s different, it’s not completely silent on their site.

“Our research farm has not slowed down one bit during this whole pandemic," said Blalock.

Blalock said the cancellation will be an economic hit for South Georgia, and businesses are seeing just that.

The Barbecue Pit has been around almost as long as Sunbelt
The Barbecue Pit has been around almost as long as Sunbelt (Source: WALB)

“It’s always been a great event for us. It’s always brought in a lot of business," said Billy Hall, Owner of The Barbecue Pit.

Hall said during this week, they usually have a full house.

Standing in Moultrie almost as long as the Expo’s been going on, he said it’s something they’ve always looked forward to because of the extra business.

“You have to set up totally different. You have a lot more to-go stuff," said Hall.

Blalock said one of their biggest frustrations was not having the Farmer of the Year Award.

But, they’ve still made sure organizations like the DONNA Foundation are recognized during Breast Cancer Awareness Month, even though it would usually taking place during the Expo.

Blalock said they’re staying optimistic during this as they prepare for next year.

“We’ve started to plan for 2021 just a little earlier than usual," said Blalock.

“We would be so glad for it to be back to normal," said Hall.

The Expo in 2021 will be October 19th through 21st.

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