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Chestnut Oak to host first event, ribbon cutting Saturday

Pike County Agribusiness Authority will host an inaugural barrel race event as well as a ribbon cutting and dedication of the covered arena at Chestnut Oak this Saturday, Nov. 21. Everyone is invited and the event is free to attend. Chestnut Oak is at 943 Sandefur Road in Meansville and in addition to the barrel races and exhibitions, the event will feature vendors, including clothing, equine and food trucks with opportunities for visitors to do some Christmas shopping and enjoy unique meals. The ribbon cutting and dedication will take place at 9 a.m. and Agribusiness Authority leaders will share plans for the future projects planned for Chestnut Oak. Exhibition barrel races will begin at 10 a.m. ’The competition will start at 1:30 p.m. which should be great entertainment to watch. The nature trail is open to all to enjoy the fall leaves,’ said Agribusiness Authority chairman Mark Camp. The property now known as Chestnut Oak was purchased in 1996 shortly after the Pike Agribusiness Authority was created. The purpose was to promote agriculture in Pike County. In 2002, a consultant put together plans for the property to be a multi-use facility for the citizens of Pike. Because of economic reasons, the plan has emerged in stages. A generous grant from Southern Rivers Energy provided means to establish the nature trail in 2010. SRE later provided funds to build a restroom facility in 2012. A Georgia One grant for the covered arena provided $150,000 towards the $277,000 covered arena project. The stipulation for the grant was the building had to be up by Dec. 31 of 2019. The PCAA secured a loan to cover the difference. ’Many in the community donated equipment and time to help complete this project. Without this support, this dedication would not be occurring now,’ said Camp. Some of the features of Chestnut Oak include the covered area with lighting for day or night use, four RV sites, a nature trail, acres of open land for activities, an outdoor practice arena (in progress), bird watching and more. Plans for the near future include adding bleachers, a concession stand, meeting room and announcer’s stand in the arena. Public support is needed to make this happen. The nature trail is open dawn to dusk for walking and bird watching free of charge daily. The arena is available for public use for a small fee. The facility is available to rent for private events. ’Agribusiness is important in Pike as it is the county’s and Georgia’s largest industry,’ said Camp. ‘PCAA provides a voice for agriculture by conducting the Saturday and Wednesday Markets for local growers. We support 4-H, FFA, Scouting and other organizations by having a facility where they can meet and work on goals. Horse owners will have access (for a small fee) for riding in the arena or trail riding. PCAA has partnered with Farm Bureau to hold Farm Days for school kids. PCAA is planning an equipment auction open to the public April 2021. The PCAA invites all to come out for this event and utilize this great asset in Pike County. We have 23+ acres to social distance.’

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