Civic Center is a treasure to Panola County
The Batesville Civic Center might be one of the area’s best-kept secrets.
It’s not a secret in these parts, of course. From rodeos, car shows and concerts to 4-H competitions, the BCC has served excellent times to thousands, making Panola County an actual tourist destination.
Among the advantages is a cross-functional, multi-purpose facility with a lot of square footage, good parking and seating for as many as 5,000 if the arena floor is in use.
When you look from Oxford to Southaven, this type of facility doesn’t exist otherwise. Factor in excellent hotel rooms and Batesville’s good location and you have a winning formula that has already paid dividends with more to come.
The upcoming UKC Coonhound Winter Classic 2018 is a fine example of how the community will transform into an events and visitors hub because of the Batesville Civic Center. Entrants and their entourage including family and friends will make the community home for the weekend, focusing on the expertise of their beloved coonhounds.
It’s the type of event that is a good fit for Batesville and Panola County – tourism with an outdoor touch. In other words, rodeos, dog shows, car and boat shows all find a good home here because they connect with the community while making use of a good venue.
One can’t help but wonder if there’s not a major winter event here in the future around duck hunting, which has deep roots on the west side of this I-55 corridor. Stuttgart, Arkansas has brought thousands to town each year with its duck festival, and one could imagine that outfitters, hunters, and others would flock to a Mississippi destination if it existed.
Sorry, I’m dreaming now.
Anyway, it’s not like this is a secret around Batesville and Panola County, but trust that many people in the region, from places like Grenada, Lafayette and Yalobusha counties, don’t yet know about everything this facility has to offer, and the opportunities it can provide to the region.
The success so far is a testament to the community’s vision and those who make it all happen for the city in managing the civic center.
The future lies in the hands of those with a good imagination and lots of determination.