I attended the 156th Mississippi State Fair in the capital city of Jackson. I went on the last day of the 12-day event and from the huge crowds, it appeared to have been a success.
The Mississippi State Fair is sponsored by the Department of Agriculture and Commerce and offers live entertainment, livestock judging, a petting zoo, and a whole plethora of rides, games, and food booths. Admission is around $5 per person and the same for parking.
Here are 8 reasons why you should attend the Mississippi State Fair, a beloved family-friendly event.
Who doesn’t love to play games? There is something to be said for winning prizes that you’ve lived your whole life without, but all of a sudden, after seeing those big stuffed bears hanging from the colorful stands, you cannot live without.
From games such as ring toss, balloon bust, fishing, hoop shoot, bottle breaking, water squirting, and ring the bell with the swinging of a hammer, all of the classics were accounted for, as well as a few new ones on me.
The Farm Bureau sponsored petting zoo featured a good selection of animals. Pellet style food was available for purchase via gumball dispensers. Carrots were for sale at a desk inside the petting zoo tent. The menagerie of animals consisted of sheep, goats, alpaca, llama, and a camel.
I saw my first zedonk (a cross between a zebra and donkey) and they even had a Scottish highland cow, which was adorable! The exhibit had sanitizing stations available outside of the tents, which I felt was much appreciated.
Check out the livestock shows and competitions that take place daily.
3. Food and Drink
Food and drink are generally the main items that draw people to fairs. The Mississippi State Fair boasted plenty of classic eats, southern favorites, and a few kiosks with nothing but “heart attack on a plate”, based on the calorie and cholesterol intake.
During our visit, we sampled light and creamy Cheese Bites from Penn’s. On another visit, my son-in-law tried the Turkey Drumstick, Corn Dog, Deep Fried Oreos, and Roasted Corn. The crowd favorites appeared to be the Chicken-on-a-Stick, Ribbon Fries, and Funnel Cakes covered with all sorts of ooey gooey items.
One of my fair favorites, Sausages with onion and peppers, looked delicious, but I was too full to hold them
Available thirst quenchers were fresh squeezed lemonade, slushie drinks, smoothies, sweet tea, homemade root beer, and draft beer. Penn’s gets my vote for the perfect Southern sweet tea.
The Mississippi State Fair of 2016 offered several free concerts, including Corey Smith, Bell Biv Devoe, Theory of a Deadman, and Joe Nichols. The concerts were held at the Budweiser Pavilion at no additional charge and were standing room only.
Be sure to strap on your Fitbit before heading off to the Mississippi State Fair. Chances are, you will be parking a long way from the entrance, if the traffic was like it was during our visit. This turned into the perfect opportunity to burn off the calories you we sure to intake. The walk around the entire midway was easily over a mile.
There is much to see and do, you may want to make several laps.
6. Amusement Rides
Although the state fair’s amusement rides were plentiful, the cost were outrageous. I loved how they were lit up so beautifully in bright neon colors at night. A daily wristband was available for purchase, which was definitely a money saver since it entitled the recipient to ride all of the rides all day.
Be sure to check the schedule for discount days and coupons. An entire kiddie pavilion was available for the little ones.
The shopping at the Mississippi State Fair may be more like “buying stupid things that you cannot say no to” more so than something you may actually need. From the looks of all the kids walking around with bubble blowing guns, light up swords, horns, and inflatable cartoon characters, the sales were productive.
Also available were clothing accessories, T-shirts (both printed and airbrushed), and handmade jewelry.
8. Introduction to Agriculture
The Mississippi State Fair had the cutest exhibit encouraging ways to get youngsters involved in agriculture. Displays were set up to put children in the environments of caring for animals, milking cows, cleaning up animal waste, and how to saddle a horse. I hope that attending parents took the time to explore this part of the park and share the educational and informative settings with their little ones.
Fun for Everyone
People of all ages will love attending the Mississippi State Fair. It is a great place to walk around, people watch, see new things, and have fun. Best of all, you can be a kid again if only for your visit.
Have a great time and eat some cotton candy for me!