STARKVILLE, Miss. (WCBI)- A grand celebration is set to take place in Starkville this weekend.
The 20th anniversary of the Mississippi Horse Park.
The arena has been a staple in the community since its doors opened in 1999.
From rodeos, to barrel races, to therapeutic horse riding, the Mississippi Horse Park prides itself on having diverse events for the entire family to enjoy.
“When we started we had 23 events the first year,” said Bricklee Miller, Mississippi Horse Park Director. “Last year we had 134 events, so that’s a tremendous amount of growth in the activities that we have out here and the diversity in the activities that we have as well.”
Miller has worked at the horse park for 19 of its 20 years.
She said what makes it unique is the fact that it’s the only facility in the country that’s a three part partnership between the university, city, and county.
“We’re part of Mississippi State University,” Miller explained. “We host the educational mission of Mississippi State, we have labs and classes, and all types of educational activities. For our community, for tourism, to drive tourism that’s very important, to bring people through the gates.”
On average, the park draws in more than 60 thousand people each year.
Since it’s arrival, the facility has hosted a total of 979 events.
From 2001 to 2018, Miller said the Horse Park has had an economic impact of $43 million.
“This is truly an economic driver and it’s so important because it’s tax dollars that fund this,” said Miller. “People expect their tax dollars to be put to well use, and so this is actually generating revenue for our community, because the people that come to these events wouldn’t come to our community and stay three or four days if it wasn’t for the events at the Horse Park.”
However, it’s receiving local interest, the Horse Park has gained national attention as well.
“The Mississippi Horse Park has been featured in every national horse publication across the country,” said Miller. “We also have won national awards, we’ve been selected as one of the top ten facilities in the country, we’ve won National Producer Of The Year on the stage in Las Vegas for the National Finals Rodeo. We stood on the stage three years and won Best Footing Awards, so it’s really nice that people across the country see the facility the same that we do.”
Friday’s celebration will be broadcasted live on SuperTalk MS.
Everything will begin at 6 A.M. and last until 9 A.M.
There will also be a complimentary breakfast.
The public is invited to attend the celebration.