Tuesday, September 6, 2016

How to save the Jackson Zoo, Part 1

The Jackson Zoo, what to do, what to do, what to do? The Zoo surrendered its American Zoological Association accreditation a few weeks ago.  The Zoo has been troubled for quite some time as it has been plagued by a declining attendance, a deteriorating neighborhood, and uneven funding.  JJ thinks that the zoo benefits the Jackson metro area as well as the state.  There are world-class zoos in Memphis and New Orleans but there is no reason this area can't continue to operate a quality zoo.  Mississippi loses when we lose our cultural attractions.   What is needed is some truly out of the box thinking.  JJ offers a possible solution.

The obvious problem facing the zoo is its location.  The neighborhoods around it look like a war zone.  Once beautiful churches are now falling apart, their windows  covered with plywood, and roofs are collapsing.  Houses that are literally crumbling away populate the area.  Bums walk up and down that section of Capitol Street.  Mothers simply are not going to take their children through that environment to reach the zoo and the numbers show it.  However, the zoo needs help and needs it now.  However, the chances of Jackson getting the community support and $100 million or more to move the zoo are virtually nil.  However, hope for the zoo's future is not lost.

Take a look at this Google earth of the area.  Click on the images to enlarge. 

One can easily see the problem.  The zoo has an entrance that is on Capitol Street.  It's a long drive from downtown and goes through some bad neighborhoods if one uses the I-220 exit.  However, look at the map again:

The zoo is actually right next to Hawkins Field and Sonny Guy Golf Course.  However, the entrance is on Capitol Street.  Look at this map.

There is one simple change that could fix part of the Zoo's problem- move the entrance to Fortification Street:

The entrance will then face Hawkins Field and a golf course.  The Jackson Municipal Airport Authority is going to renovate the interior of the South Terminal and place a gate at that end of the runway.  The manager told JJ last year that he would like to place a small cafe in the terminal.  This would be a nice trifecta of culture that could help West Jackson: a zoo, airport, and golf course.  However, there is the matter of Bullard Street.

A visitor traveling to the new entrance could get off at the Bullard/Capitol Street exit on I-220 and take a left onto Bullard Street.  The distance from the exit to the new entrance is probably a little more than quarter of a mile and is lined by shotgun houses and a two convenience stores.  Use eminent domain and clear them out.  Landscape the heck out of Bullard from Capitol Street to the fork with Fortification Street and Woodrow Wilson.  Clearing out a quarter mile is much easier then revitalizing a major thoroughfare.  Install more than a few lights.  Make the entrance nice and then promote the heck out of it.  Does the JSU Parkway ring a bell? 

Maps don't tell the whole story.  Here is the view of the proposed entrance as seen through a few photos.  It is near the location of the merge traffic sign.

Proposed Jackson Zoo entrance from Fortification Street

 What does one see? As the announcer says, green, green, green.  A nice beautiful green.  Here are some pictures taken of the view from the proposed entrance.  The first picture shows where Woodrow Wilson, Bullard Street, and Fortification Street meet.  The yellow "X" is near the proposed entrance. 

View from Hawkins entrance of where all three streets meet.

North view from proposed entrance

West view from proposed entrance

East view of Fortification Street from proposed entrance

North of the zoo is Hawkins Field.  These photos show how the area looks between Hawkins Field and the proposed zoo entrance.

Western view of South entrance to Hawkins Field. Green!!!

South entrance to Hawkins Field

South entrance to Hawkins Field across from golf course

Eastern view of Woodrow Wilson from Hawkins Field. More green!

 Now compare this scenery to what faces the current zoo entrance on Capitol Street.

JJ videotaped a drive (with commentary) from the interstate exit to the proposed entrance that is posted above. Watch the video for yourself.  Moving and beautifying is a much cheaper solution than spending $100 million to move the zoo.  Well, it is much cheaper unless we bring in consultants and studies.  This IS Mississippi.

Note: Here is a video of the Capitol Street route to the zoo I shot three years ago.


Anonymous said...

Kingfish all you did was care and we didn't need a consultant. That is an excellent idea.

Kingfish said...

You could probably get the railroad to help with landscaping its side of Bullard and Fortification.

Renee Shakespeare said...

This is the first practical, intelligent idea that has been presented regarding the Zoo. Unfortunately history sadly teaches our present leadership doesn't have the capacity to undertake completion of practical intelligent ideeas.

Anonymous said...

As dear old departed Doug Anderson would say: "Lipstick on a pig".

Anonymous said...

This is an excellent idea! And as for the comment from 10:50..... he and his pig would be welcome to visit the zoo (and stay!)

Anonymous said...

This is a great idea.

Serious question: why do you Madison types HATE Jackson and everything in it so much? Not content with your brick overpass and ticky-tacky houses? What did Jackson do to you? Did it touch you in the no-no place?

Anonymous said...

The city is broke.

Shut it down.

The area is more valuable to the city as possible development for some type of industrial use or some type of expansion for the airport.

Grew up going to this place...but the people who support it left it to rot...and it is now too rotten to salvage.

Anonymous said...

Best idea I have heard. Cost would not be that much as long as the consultants and mentors are not added in. Keep it sensible, no consultants or mentors, and the zoo could be changed.

Anonymous said...

I fear Jackson is too far gone. It's incomprehensible to me that, even though people might be poor, that they can't keep their homes clean.........and why must they kill each other?? It's culture, I guess. Until their culture changes, Jackson will not change.

Anonymous said...

King -- Seriously man, you're reaching. The idea of seeing Jackson grow is not going to happen unless there is corporate economic development, and that is not happening. Re-routing the entrance is a simple idea, but wont solve the real problem...poverty/crime/race relations. In my opinion, Jackson should contract and get smaller, and focus on neighborhood beautification and ROADS. As a transplant who has lived her for 10 years, I'm simply amazed at the disjointed road repaving efforts. If I were in charge, I would pick a section and spend all week in that one area fixing potholes/repaving where necessary, then move to another section. It seems that the city is ping-ponging around town with no clear direction. They fix potholes on one street, and the street over looks 3rd world with no attention paved. Then, they drive across town to fix potholes on another street. Start with neighborhoods, and build back from there. Smaller tasks are easier and more manageable than large pie-in-sky ideas...until more federal or corporate dollars are seen.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for great post, KF. Great idea with lots of good reasoning to support it. There are countless challenges facing Jxn; no one disputes that. But ideas like this give me hope that all is not yet lost.

Anonymous said...

Shut it down....The state waste millions on this each year. Could go to other things that are more important.

Anonymous said...

It's great to see someone putting some legwork into finding solutions, not just warring from behind a keyboard. Boots on the ground, real world solution! But the current ruling class of Jackson will never go for it...

Rudy wouldn't have said...

Crossing the railroad right of way is going to be your problem. So why would you attempt to put a crossing across the railroad just east of the existing crossing that already gives access to an existing road into the zoo/park at the North West corner of the property? The road is already in place but not being used due to what appears to be a locked gate. Just improve that existing road and make it the entrance. Simple.

Anonymous said...

While I like the idea of the new entrance, I am uncomfortable with imminent domain taking property from citizens and businesses to prop up an organization that despite having advantages as a not for profit. Why hasn't the stagnant leadership at the zoo pitched this very thing (and perhaps they have, forgive me if I speak in ignorance)?

This ties into your stories about the JCVB, Downtown Partners, etc. etc. These organizations are all fiefdoms too entrenched in self preservation and their own security to innovate in a way that moves the needle. Full stop. Their boards tacitly endorse this inertia, and while that is their right, their inability to adapt should not be an excuse to take the property of others.

So that no one thinks that I'm just being critical and have no suggestions of my own...here are some ideas I have:

Secure the perimeter so that the embarrassing feral dogs kill animal incidents stop.

Engage the Museum of Natural Science and the Agricultural and Forestry Museum to work with the Zoo to develop the exterior of the campus with a mix of native wildlife habitats, nature trail with Scouting friendly native flora identification stations, and small gardens that could produce feed for the animals.

Rehabilitate the lake as a fishing lab run by MDWFP to teach our kids about native fish and how to fish our lakes and rivers.

Have Job Corps or Department of Employment Security establish an office that teaches kids from the surrounding neighborhoods skilled trades by maintaining the campus. Take tax forfeited properties surrounding the campus and offer them to the kids that learn skilled trades to rehabilitate as their own residences.

Create an internship program within administration and recruit the best and brightest from JSU, Millsaps, Belhaven, and Tougaloo to work on campus. Have a competition every year for their business schools to pour over their finances and make them better.

I've prattled along too much already...but I just agree that it can be saved, but without taking private property. I have no confidence that it will be saved because we as a city have a nasty habit of rewarding the inertia of our ineffectual organizations by refusing to consider alternative leadership. Thank you for your proposed solution, and sorry for my cynicism.

Anonymous said...

We have no leadership in Jackson anymore. They were run out and a new "culture" with no cultural appreciation runs out city. They would rather turn it into a shopping mall full of pay day loan services and nail and weave salons...maybe throw in some chrome rim shops

Anonymous said...

"Now, where to build our factory?"....

"How about Fantasy-land?"

Kingfish said...

Didn't know about the old back entrance and locked gate. Simple. Idea still works with it.

The Monkey Has A Red Ass.. said...

Jackson's terminal illness, nor recognition of it, has nothing to do with Madison. Why don't you chirpers stop posting about Madison folks who hate on Jackistan? Is that some odd way of blaming the problems on those who don't live there?

Lipstick on a pig is correct. As if Fortification is a safe byway. If the entrance were to be moved, how tall would the wall separating the zoo from Capitol Street need to be?

What if all Kingfish's dream plans were to be realized and nobody came? Do we even know if people GO to zoos any more? Children have been taught for twenty or thirty years to live as one with nature and animals instead of caging them. What if ten million were spent on the venue and nobody came? Where are the data on zoo gate receipts? Shouldn't that horse be put before the cart?

Monroe, Louisiana is 80 miles away and nobody goes to their zoo, I'm told. New Orleans is a destination city. Jackson is not and won't be. Same with Memphis. Lipstick and new entrances are useless. The pig has been slaughtered and has bled out.

Anonymous said...

Hank speaks,

Great ideas but I have to agree with 11:15. Corporate involvement!

The scope of this much be much larger and should involve the entire state of MS and lots of corporate sponsors. The Jackson area would make a central location for a state zoo. The only way anything happens that can be sustained is corporate and state involvement. The Jackson area would make a great location for the Mississippi Zoo, Botanical Gardens and Aquarium.

Yeah, but others have done it. Yeah, I know its different here. Yeah, I know no one can agree. Yeah, ...............

Lnesbit said...

KF - your ideas are "on point" and very well thought out and articulated. At first blush, my thought is to completely relocate the zoo away from its current location. I realize that this is neither practical nor likely. But the fact remains that a zoo located in a "war zone" -- even with a new entrance -- remains in a "war zone." Secondly, the City of Jackson does not have -- and will not have in the near future -- the funds necessary to maintain the zoo.

Additionally, the days of federal grant money for anything and everything are drying up.

This having been said, I compliment you for the insight and effort to think through this situation. It is far more than we have come to expect from our so-called city leaders. Too often our leadership sees a pricey consulting study when, in fact, we have the brains and experience to come up with our own possible fix. But, again, we are dealing with our local leadership, and such forward thinking is simply beyond their willingness or their grasp.

Anonymous said...

This is a great idea, KF, but it is not original or new. It was in fact discussed with various legislators last session - using the bond funds being requested to build a new entrance on the North side (probably coming off Woodrow Wilson rather than Fortification, but still same idea.) Suggested also was building a children-type attraction between WW and the zoo.

You have done a good job of showing how it could be done, or at least one possibility - with details. I do think you might have a problem with eminent domain on the properties thanks to the initiative a few years ago pretty much putting a stop to the process. But those properties could probably be obtained through regular purchase considering their value and ownership.

What killed it last year was failure to gain support from the city 'leadership'. I believe it was that they felt it was an admission of the failure to maintain the city along West Capitol - which doesn't really need an admission, it is obvious on the face of it. The other killer was the way the city 'leadership' acted in dealing with the legislature and their disagreements with them (i.e. the press conference).

But - dreamers gotta dream. Maybe one day we can get some real leadership at City Hall and some such action as this can become a reality; along with the many other changes that need to occur in Jackson.

Anonymous said...

KINGFISH... Seriously why not find out how the ZOO spent the money Faith Hill raised a few years ago.


Kingfish said...

The initiative applies only if government gives it to someone else. Nothing to stop government from getting land, keeping it, and beautifying it.

Anonymous said...

If not mistaken, the government can't take it to 'beautify' the area; can take it to provide needed infrastructure. Would be interesting to see if the road access would allow 'beautification' not needed for the roadway.

MSSC - coming your way if this is ever tried.

Anonymous said...

Excellent idea! I have three young kids and we have spent countless days at the zoo and their splash pad. I am not from Jackson and to me, this is an excellent zoo for this size Metro and very much needed by the young families in the area. The only negative is the drive in off of 220 and your plan immensely improves that problem. I truly hope this gets traction. Keep us posted on what we can do to help.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps this is NOT a complete and perfect idea. But it's a start. Read through the comments. There are more ideas among the comments that can be utilized. My husband grew up in the West Jackson area. Livingston Lake was a favorite swimming hole. No, it can't be a swimming hole; but a controlled fishing lake - what a wonderful idea. A beautiful entrance ... a safe entrance ... a botanical garden incorporated with the animal zoo. Our children and grandchildren make trips to Memphis and New Orleans to visit their zoos, aquariums, botanical gardens. We do have the resources to do this. YES, corporate and state funds will be needed. But the public CAN help. Many of you will remember when a bunch of us ladies stood in the streets of Jackson to "Save Our Ballet". We can have a "Save Our Zoo" campaign.

Anonymous said...

Reopening the old entrance shouldn't be too difficult. It's the only way I remember getting into the zoo for a long time. I'm not really sure when the Captiol Street entrance opened up.

Kingfish said...

I'm posting Part II Thursday or Friday. That post will delve more into the working mechanics and finances of the zoo. Save those comments til then if you can.

Anonymous said...

@ 12:37 are you seriously questioning how $150,000 was spent that was raised 16 years ago? They probably spent it on operating budget or improvements...16 years ago.

Anonymous said...

The railroad definitely makes the Fortification entrance idea a nonstarter unless the City can find money to build a basic overpass (it can't), but I like the proposal to use the old entrance at Parkside Place. I think it would actually be easier to clean up that strip than it would be to address Capitol St.

Anonymous said...

I just hope they don't spend my tax dollars on this nonsense. To say that the State benefits from that crummy zoo is laughable. Maybe they should just expand the perimeter of the zoo, and build a fence around the entire City.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, but i keep thinking if you're standing facing the lagoon, dump, or whatever the problem is -- and then your turn around 180 degrees and then you 'don't' see it...

Pat Bruce said...

Splendid idea....innovative thinking.... and it could work with others getting on board who will share and make this happen.

Anonymous said...

Only way to save the zoo is to relocate anywhere but Jackson.

Anonymous said...

The best location would be in the museum district as was discussed years ago. Near to interstate and other attractions. Could feed off each other. Make it a joint effort of city, state, & private business. Similar to Children's Museum. If Jackson leadership won't get on board, work around them.

Anonymous said...

12:02- Monroe is 100 miles away, and people from that area do go to their zoo. I was there a couple of weeks ago, and there were a good many folks wandering around with me. Don't know if they were local or not - didn't ask, didn't care. But I enjoyed the afternoon in their facility.

Anonymous said...

11:19 I've thought about a lot of what you said, and in addition incentivize through some type of localized currency that could cut the labor costs but be used within same area to revitalize area.

Also, curious, what is Mississippi State's Vet school relationship with the zoo? I know they are a top vet school in the country.

I wonder if partnering with them in some capacity could put the Zoo in a more advantageous position.

Anonymous said...

its another great idea but whose going to make it happen, stop talking and do something. Also a lot of your commentary seems derogatory about the area and a bit offensive. Help to fix the whole city instead of leaving it for demise.
All of Jackson needs attention just not the areas you guys think are worthy.

Yes let's save our zoo, but let save ALL of Jackson.

SIDE NOTE_ the comment about you packing was extremely offensive, it's not just that area that you need to, you have to be packing on Fortification as well.

Kingfish said...

It was a joke, snowflake, and if you're offended, stay offended.

Anonymous said...

"What if all Kingfish's dream plans were to be realized and nobody came? Do we even know if people GO to zoos any more? "

Go to Memphis, Birmingham or New Orleans and see how crowded their zoos are. Many MS license plates in the parking lots too.

"Additionally, the days of federal grant money for anything and everything are drying up."

Hmmm - maybe, just maybe, the Chairman of the US Senate Appropriations Committee might be able to help out here.

It is pathetic that the entire state can't support one zoo. A zoo is a cultural and educational endeavor that one would expect to find in any civilized place.

Anonymous said...

Don't think offended is a snowflake.

Anonymous said...

On another note, tried to play golf at Sonny Guy several months ago. They don't take debit/credit cards. I was directed to a Trustmark near the medical mall. I drove to another golf course.

We need to learn how to crawl before we can walk.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your idea. I always felt relocation was the best idea, but your idea is worthy of consideration. A lot of people on this board don't understand that zoos, museums, parks, dog parks, bike trails, etc. add to to the quality of life for the Metro, not just Jackson.

Anonymous said...

There already is an entrance at Parkside Place just off Woodrow Wilson. It stays locked now but it was the main entrance to both the zoo and Livingston Lake where swimming was allowed many years ago.

Kingfish said...

That is even better. Lowers costs. Honestly didn't see it.

Anonymous said...

"Kingfish all you did was care and we didn't need a consultant."

Not sure whether to yawn, puke or sigh...

Anonymous said...

#1 Solution: Sell the zoo to a private investment firm or private investor. The zoo needs private money not government/public dollars for its redevelopment. Too many public and private entities in Mississippi rely heavily on public assistance and funding for EVERYTHING!

Anonymous said...

Damn 6:06, why didn't we think of that? I'm sure you have two or three private investors that want to purchase. Or maybe we should just list it on EBay and wait.

Zoos are not profit making enterprises, just as libraries and museums are not. Private investors aren't standing in line to make such a purchase.

But, thanks for playing - unless of course, you are bringing your checkbook to the party.

Anonymous said...

The Zoo should be regionally governed much like the Metro Planning Organization.

Anonymous said...

I was raised in South Jackson and moved to Virginia 24 years ago. I love Mississippi and Jackson and it grieves me to see what has happened to this city. South Jackson was a great place growing up, but now it is a war zone. My parents finally had to leave and moved to Clinton.
I loved going to the zoo as a child and went all the time. I don't know the answer and appreciate this gentlemen's effort. I may be worth the try, but until all of Jackson gets behind the revitalization, I don't see it happening. Jackson does lack leadership and it will have to begin there before there are positive changes. Jackson is the Capital city, but even around the Governor's Mansion is sketchy. The zoo will probably be a last priority.

Anonymous said...

Looks like a lot of interest in this zoo revitilization to me in respect to the number of comments and suggestions given on this feed! Thank you KingFish for your investment in improvements. What does Jackson have to lose to take these suggested low budget suggestions and small steps toward improving Jackson's overall experience, landscape & perception. Jackson, MS is a historical, awesome city! It DESERVES REVITILIZATION AND PRIDE! This will require new leadership! #StepItUpJXNMS #JXSNMSdeservesbetter!

Anonymous said...

The zoo should have been moved over by the children's museum and the science museum when it was discussed several years ago. It is in safer and more central location.

Anonymous said...

"The Zoo should be regionally governed much like the Metro Planning Organization. "

Yeah - that worked so well for the airport :-)

Anonymous said...

KF, whether it's original to you or you have simply been the next in line to see a great option is unimportant.
What IS important is that you as well as a few others commenting have a " can do attitude".
The " we can't "/status quo people at every level of society are the ones who are causing us to fall further and further behind.
I am stunned that the Jackson haters are so blinded by prejudice that they can't see the growth that is taking place around the hospitals including a new residential building, in Fondren, and how the project across from the School for the Deaf is actually already occupied before the project is even complete.
In the past year, my neighborhood and the adjacent one have had several homes beautifully remodeled and two more new constructions are underway and these are high end custom homes, not spec houses.
And, all of this would have happened sooner if not for the Chicken Littles and those who can identify a problem but haven't the brains to think about solutions standing in the way.
Get out of the way and shut the hell up so those who have sense enough to know that 3 huge medical centers and the State Capitol and state government and colleges and universities aren't going anywhere!
The problems are real, but they are fixable , including calling in federal law enforcement, but we can't fix stupid so please just face that you are overly emotional or just not that smart and be silent!

Gaul Pallo Atchur Service.. said...

LNesbit, local a.m. philosopher and noted gadfly sez: "KF - your ideas are "on point" and very well thought out and articulated."

Than goes on to say,"But the fact remains that a zoo located in a "war zone" -- even with a new entrance -- remains in a "war zone."

So, maybe the local radio celebrity will explain how an idea can be 'on point, well thought out and articulated (guess he means WELL articulated)" and at the same time be a dumb idea since the place is a 'war zone'.

Or can he think without Mr. Dear at his side, chuckling?

Anonymous said...

6:29 - we were all ready to move the zoo over next to the Children's Museum, but haven't received your check yet to cover the over $100 million that would be required to do so. If you would forward that contribution now, designated for the move, we can start the dirtwork for construction early next year. Thanks for your assistance.

Signed: City of Jackson/State of Mississippi

Anonymous said...

EXCELLENT IDEA! Thank you so much for taking such an interest in Jackson (OUR CAPITOL) and trying to make it better. We were at the zoo a week ago and had a wonderful time - the zoo was full of patrons. I get so sick of hearing from some people in Madison complaining. They are obviously too weak to help but full of hatred to knock those that want to do something positive for Jackson. They left Jackson with their tails between their legs and obviously have nothing better to do than complain about those who are taking the initiative to help our city.

Anonymous said...

!:45, not many people left in Jackson with the initiative to help anyone besides themselves. Why would you call them weak? I call them intelligent to get out before the home prices fell to zero. I call them caring because they took their families to a safer place.
I can understand the hatred of the people who turned the city into a cesspool. Looks like the cesspool people and the criminals are just about all that is left in Jackson.

Anonymous said...

I love the zoo. I go during the weekday, and it's so relaxing. Sometimes I just sit and read. Even though the price isn't too expensive for me, I think they would make more money by lowering the prices for ALL school-aged children. My teenagers love walking through the zoo, but teenagers usually look for cheap or free entertainment.

Miss The Sound of Peacocks.. said...

11:29 - If you want to read, why go to a zoo? Why not just stay in your office or go to a library or a trendy book store, or sit in your car and read after tennis? One reason you don't see many teenagers strolling through the zoo anymore is because they text while they walk and so many of them have fallen over fences into animal cages and were not heard from again.

Anonymous said...

2:45pm I don't suppose you've been to the Jackson Country Club or Eastover area or Fondren in years and years. I can see why you wouldn't be invited.
And, you've not been to the Mayflower on a Friday night or gone to any events at Thalia Mara or The Mississippi Museum of Art or the Governor's Mansion or the Convention Center.
Do tell us what you do for entertainment in Madison. What bands are playing there?
You're apparently not into fine dining either because the very best restaurants are still in Jackson.
I guess you don't know that more than a few doctors have to live within 30 minutes of a hospital.
I know it will shock you but those of us who stayed have gotten to know African Americans who are doctors, lawyers, professors ,and own successful businesses. They go to church, are good parents, have nice manners, have well behaved children doing well in school and are good neighbors.
And, guess what? People from other states are moving here and unlike you , they understand how cities go through cycles.
This notion you have of Jackson being populated only by criminals is poppycock. As was true 50 years ago and is true now, criminals plague poor neighborhoods and yes, Jackson has some very poor areas. And, some of the middle class neighborhoods had mostly spec homes that weren't well built and so it's good you got out before they fell apart. You'll need to do that in Madison eventually too. Sadly, for you, the building codes and inspection in Madison are good when it comes to facades, but not so good when it comes to the " bones". Good luck.

Anonymous said...

September 8, 2016 at 7:23 AM = Doesn't live in Jackson

Anonymous said...

Not only does 7:23 not live in Jackson, they live in some fantasy land. Maybe where a white jacket with long sleeves are the usual attire.

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Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).

Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.

In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

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Trollfest '07

Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS