Arts & Entertainment

Mississippi State Fair Celebrates 155 Years

-Abbie Walker, Editor

Every year during the month of October, thousands flock to downtown Jackson for the annual Mississippi State Fair. As the cooler air of fall rolls in, people of all ages eagerly await the rides, food, shows, and more.

This year marks the 155th anniversary of the Miss. State Fair. It will run from Oct. 1- Oct. 12 and is located on the fairgrounds next to Mississippi Street and High Street in Jackson.

An admission fee of $5 is charged at the gate’s entrance, but food and tickets for rides are additional expenses.

One of the main attractions of the fair is the wide variety of rides. However, many people, including MC senior Ashley Bullard question their structural soundness. Because the rides are put up so quickly in preparation, some have been known to either break down or turn dangerous.

“I dislike the prices for rides,” said senior Emily Alston. “They just keep going up, but the rides don’t change.

But many who come to the fair are hungry for the vast and sometimes curious cuisines that the long line of colorful food stalls offer.

“I like fried everything. So basically it’s heaven on earth for me,” said MC alum Wesley Wilson.

“The taffy! Best salt water taffy I’ve ever had,” said junior Laura Barker.

“I loooove the free honey biscuits,” said Sherree Rayner, a senior.

Everything from fried alligator and chicken-on-a-stick to donut burgers and funnel cakes are available for customers to try.

Several concerts are also held during the fair. This year’s lineup includes: Thompson Square (Oct. 1), Ginuwine (Oct. 2), Blue Oyster Cult (Oct. 3), Hinder (Oct. 6), Marshall Tucker Band (Oct. 7), Charlie Daniels Band (Oct. 8), The Spinners (Oct. 9), and Texaco Country Showdown (Oct. 10). After paying the regular admission fee to get into the fairgrounds, the concerts are free.

Other notable events taking place on the fairgrounds this year include a talent show, a mother daughter look-a-like contest, and, of course, competitive showings of animals such as goats, cattle, and horses.

Savannah Gaedchens said, “I love the pig races because why wouldn’t I?”

The Miss. Trademart building also houses an extensive collection of vintage cars for viewing, as well as numerous booths for either selling products or raising awareness about different issues.

While the Miss. State Fair continues to draw in crowds from all over the South every year, there are still things about it that people have a hard time overlooking, particularly the danger.

“The gun shots….Those are always a turn off,” said Justin Mainous.

While violence at the fairgrounds tends to happen during late night events such as Midnight Madness and armband nights, Jackson police are usually on stand by just in case.

“It’s really dirty and overpriced, but the flee market thing inside the trade center is cool and I like the talent show. Also, if you go before noon on a weekday, there’s no entry fee,” said senior Jessie Pope.

Overall, the Miss. State Fair has its pros and cons. The pricing, violence, and questionable ride safety may have some people vowing to never go to the fair, but the food, shows, and general atmosphere of fun have thousands of Mississippians coming back every year. Here’s to 155 years of the craziness that is the Miss. State Fair!

For more information about the Miss. State Fair, call (601) 961-4000 or visit msfair.net

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