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franklin county times

Queen City State Fair organizers tired, but happy

By By Steve Gillespie/The Meridian Star
Oct. 11, 2001
Organizers of the Queen City State Fair say the event was a success even though they won't know until next week how much money it made and how many people it attracted.
Fair organizer Len McRae said Wednesday that he is still recuperating from the seven-day, first-year event that closed Sunday.
McRae said older couples at the fair told him it reminded them of the old-style country fairs of their youth. He also heard from people who liked the fair better than this year's Mississippi State Fair in Jackson.
And McRae heard people compliment the cleanliness of the Queen City State Fair, which was took place at the Lauderdale County Agri-Center.
The Queen City State Fair was the first countywide fair in the Meridian-Lauderdale County area since 1998, the last year of the old Mississippi-Alabama State Fair.
The Queen City State Fair included a carnival midway, as well as food booths, a petting zoo, a family puppet show, live concerts and other entertainment.
Tommy White, marketing director for Bonita Lakes Mall, said the fair had little impact on business for mall retailers last week. He said some people had feared the fair might hurt mall sales.
Allison Beasley, director of the Lauderdale County Tourism Bureau, said her office received numerous calls the week of the fair from residents in Lauderdale County and surrounding areas.
But she said the fair had little effect on lodging in Meridian.
McRae spent 18 months planning the fair.
McRae and his wife, Rhonda, formed the Queen City State Fair Association composed of friends and business associates. McRae also got ideas by attending seminars with other fair organizers.
Steve Gillespie is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. Call him at 693-1551, ext. 3233, or e-mail him at sgillespie@themeridianstar.com.

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