Ouachita Valley Fairgrounds are long gone, but West Monroe to host first fair since 1970s

A big family-friendly event, which may be remembered by only a few members of the family, is returning to West Monroe for the first time in decades.

The West Monroe Fair opens June 15 and will run through June 22 on the grounds of the Ike Hamilton Expo Center, 501 Mane St., West Monroe.

The fair will be the first one held in the city since the 1970s. The Ouachita Valley Fair was formerly held at the Ouachita Valley Fairgrounds, on the current site of West Monroe City Government Complex which houses city hall and the police department.

Mitchell Amusement, an outdoor amusement company based in Slidell, sought the city out for the fair. According to promoter Jimmy Reed, the Ike Hamilton Expo Center is what attracted the company to West Monroe.

"It's a nice venue there," Reed said. "That's what our business is, putting on fairs."

The Ike Hamilton Expo will be the site of the West Monroe Fair on June 15-22.

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Mitchell Amusement has partnered with numerous parishes, country, church and community fairs, as well as corporate events, throughout Louisiana and Mississippi.

The fair will feature over 58 rides, which include kiddie rides for young children, major family rides and even rides for thrill seekers.

The food concession will offer traditional carnival food, including cotton candy, corn dogs and funnel cakes.

A rare photo of the Ouachita Valley Fair that was formerly held on the Ouachita Valley Fairgrounds in West Monroe during the 1950s and 1960s.

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Reed said the fair is going to be a great event for the community, in more ways than one.

"We bring a lot of money and spend a lot of money in the community," Reed said. "The Ike Hamilton Center is getting a lot of money. The local media is getting a lot of money and we'll bring in people to eat, spend money, buy tires and spend money at the local diesel station."

The fair will be open from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 2 p.m. to midnight on Friday and Saturday. Admission will be $10 for adults and $5 for kids 5 and under.

Follow Ian Robinson on Twitter @_irobinson and on Facebook at https://bit.ly/3vln0w1.

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This article originally appeared on Monroe News-Star: West Monroe to host first fair since 1970s, beginning June 15