More events booked for Expo Center

JAMES BEATY | Staff photoExpo Center Manager Krystal Bess says she's booking more events for the facility.

More events are headed to the Expo Center in McAlester, including two big events in March and April, says Expo Center Manager Krystal Bess.

First up is the Big V Feeds Pro Rodeo, presented by Sam Wampler Freedom Ford.

It's set to kick off at 7:30 p.m. nightly at the Expo Center on March 4 and 5, which is the first Friday and Saturday night in March. It will also feature a Saturday night dance sponsored by Angel's Diner, with a live band providing the music, said Bess.

Bess said there's lots of interest in the event among rodeo competitors, calling it the only winter pro rodeo in the area. Professional rodeo competitors face competition from more than their counterparts.

"Livestock from the National Finals Rodeo will be here," Bess said.

The only ticket outlet for the event will be Josh Hass Insurance Agency at 214 E. Choctaw Ave. in downtown McAlester, she said. Otherwise tickets can be purchased at the door on the nights of the event, said Bess.

Another large event already booked is the Kulture Tattoo show set for April 1-3, which is the first weekend in April.

"We will have 120 artists doing live tattoos," Bess said, with those attending the event having the opportunity to get a tattoo at the site. The event includes a BMX Motocross show, she said.

Bess said the types of shows being booked, including the Pro Rodeo and the Kulture Tattoo show, are the kind that have a community-wide impact, with hotel and motel rooms booked and visitors partaking of the city's restaurants and shopping at its stores.

"It's amping up our town," Bess said.

Bess has been on the job several months, hired as Expo Center manager after Pittsburg County Commissioners took over operations of the facility from the city of McAlester. Commissioners are now in the midst of upgrading the physical facility, with hopes to have the Expo Center fully air conditioned through the use of American Rescue Plan Act funds.

Commissioners have been awaiting completion of an engineering report on the heating, ventilation and air conditioning system at the Expo Center, as well as the Pittsburg County Courthouse, which is also slated for upgrades to its HVAC system.

Asked how things are going in regard to future plans at the Expo Center, Bess said "I think it's going amazing." Bess said she's also interested in booking concerts at the facility.

"We're looking forward to bringing big things," she said.

Contact James Beaty at jbeaty@mcalesternews.com.

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