Earlier today, the Macon Exchange Club met to decide the fate of the for 2012. President of the Georgia State Fair, Don Johstono, says despite many members with conflicting feelings, and a close vote, Central City Park will not host a fair next year.
If you were lucky enough to experience the 156th Georgia State Fair this past spring, you may go down in history as one of the last people to walk the fairgrounds.
"Central City park ought to be a center piece for Macon, it ought to be the shining jewel when visitors come into town," says Johstono.
It's not, in fact that's one reason, Johstono, and other residents, say people skipped over the city's fair to head down to Perry.
"I knew the day that they announced that it was probably the death nail or a slow death for the Macon state fair," says Gene Dunwody.
The nail is in, and the fair will not return in 2012.
"Boy that's been a tradition here and if I remember correctly that's the oldest in the state, and so I'm disappointed," says Chairman Sam Hart, Bibb County Commission.
Even though Perry's a short ride away, that doesn't make losing this big chunk of Macon's history any easier.
"It's like a best friend has gone away," says Johstono.
"I still enjoy it and I'm grown," says Georgia Cannon, Macon resident.
"I grew up going to the fair and having the saw dust kicking around your feet in the dirt and the mud," says Dunwody.
It was a lack of feet and profit, that ultimately left the Macon Exchange Club with the difficult decision to keep the gates closed next year.
"Took it down to it's bare bones we thought of what the budget could be," says Johstono.
Cutting costs just wasn't enough to leep this tradition alive.
"It means a lot to me personally, and it's heartbreaking, it's heartbreaking," says Johstono.
Today's announcement wasn't an overnight decision. The board tried coming up with ways to still hold the fair and cut costs.
Since it began in 1851, the only time there wasn't a fair in Macon, was during the civil war years. This past year marked the 156th year it was celebrated in Macon.