Most everyone knows the Williamson Field House is one of the most historic venues in Southern West Virginia. It not only houses a historical basketball court, but a Hall Of Fame as well.

Director of the Williamson Park Board, Jarrod Dean, has intentions of expanding the role the Field House plays in the community and in the tri-state area.

Dean and his team have many new exciting events that will be coming to Williamson as well as, much needed improvements around the city’s many facilities.

The Field House has the opportunity to not only hold sporting events and leagues, but other avenues to draw people into town.

“We’re looking at having soccer, indoor soccer, volleyball and especially pickle ball. (Those) are the ones we’re looking at right now. And with that, obviously the Field House can also be a venue for trade shows and large corporate events and things like that,” Dean said.

One event the board is looking forward to is the upcoming Southern West Virginia Fishing Expo and Swap Meet, to be held March 13th. The event will be from 9:00 a.m. through 7:00 p.m.

Dean brought the idea up to the WPB as he had witnessed the popularity of similar expo’s in other areas.

Pete Runyon, who also heads “Friends of Tug Fork” and John Burchett were immediately on board with having the expo.

The next thing was to see if the excitement was there for such an event, so Runyon turned to the Friends of Tug Fork social media page to find out.

The response was overwhelming.

“It blew up. It blew up crazy. I started getting text messages, Facebook messages from folks in Kentucky, Tennessee and others wanting to sign up to be vendors, and that’s a good problem to have,” said Dean.

As many businesses in our area have struggled terribly with the pandemic, this would prove a good opportunity to get their names and companies out there as the country desperately shows signs of reopening the economy.

“The board is looking for vendors especially in the outdoors business,” Dean said. “Bait shop owners, entrepreneurs who make artificial bait, anyone who does kayak rentals, airboat rides, and the like.”

There is even talk of a gun auction in the near future. The board’s goal is to show the diversity of the Field House and its ability to host large scale events.

The WPB will focus more on tourism in the new year, with offering visitors numerous options at its many different facilities.

Many ATV enthusiasts flock to Southern W. Va. to take advantage of the Hatfield-McCoy trail system. It’s popularity has grown greatly in the Mountain State in the past few years. Adventure sports is something Dean hopes to capitalize on as well.

“Look at the trail riders, they want something to do while they’re in town. We want to show people we can diversify and put on many different types of events,” Dean said.

To be a vendor for the SWV Fish Expo and Swap Meet, businesses can call (304) 785-7602 for more information. Vendor space is also reasonable at just $10 for a 10x10 space, with a 10x20 spot at just $15.

Admission for the event is $5 with children 10 years or younger free.

“We want to make this first event affordable for these businesses that have been hit hard by the pandemic. The more vendors we have, the cheaper we can make it on them, I think the more vendors we’ll have.”

The Williamson Park Board has many other events lined up for the upcoming season. As the weather begins to break and hopes of the pandemic beginning to slow, we look forward to many new attractions around the City of Williamson and surrounding areas.