Neshoba County Fair
CABIN FEVER n Ken Butler, left, and Josh Barnes of Philadelphia enjoy a game of cards with some helpful advice from "Granny" Annie Posey outside their cabin at the Neshoba County Fair. Photo by Paula Merritt/The Meridian Star
From Staff Reports
July 20, 2001
The Neshoba County Fair opens its gates today at 8 a.m. for its 112th year.
Every year in July, Neshoba countians and other Mississippians move out to the fair grounds for a week of reunions, good food, entertainment, and conversation. Many own cabins on the fairgrounds that have been owned by their family for years, and others bring their campers.
The fair lasts eight days, and this year it will run from today through July 27. The fair was originally founded in 1889 by farmers wanting to show off their produce and livestock to other farmers. Over the years, the fair has evolved into a carnival full of good times, including political speeches, the Miss Neshoba County Fair Pageant, art and craft shows, entertainment by famous country singers and bands, a mid-way, dances, and, of course, agricultural displays.
In 1896, former Gov. McLaurin made the first political speech at the fair, and from then on the fair was known as a political forum for all politicians. The political speeches are Wednesday and Thursday in the pavilion.
The Miss Neshoba County Fair Pageant will be Monday at 8 p.m. after the official opening of the fair. And on Saturday in Founders' Square, the crafts show is expected to draw exhibitors from across the state. The square will be packed with booths offering pottery, paintings, and other unique items for sale.
The entertainment at the fair gets better every year. This year, country singer Chad Brock, known for his song "Ordinary Life," will sing Wednesday at 8 p.m. And on Thursday at 8 p.m., country singer Trace Adkins will perform. Other entertainment includes the band Molly Hatchet, set to play on Tuesday, and The Charlie Daniels Band will play July 27.
The Neshoba County Extension Service holds three livestock shows during the fair a Beef Show on Tuesday, a Dairy Show on Thursday, and a Sheep Show on closing day. The shows are open to all 4-H and FFA members in Mississippi. Also, a Calf Scramble is held for Neshoba County kids, and calves are awarded to the winners.
It takes a lot of planning and dedication to put together a fair like the Neshoba County Fair.
The grounds are ready now for the hundreds of families who are preparing to swamp the fair today. With more than 600 cabins and 200 campers full of rowdy, fun-loving people, the Neshoba County Fair far surpasses any other house party in the state.