160th Mississippi State Fair: Walt Grayson

Local News

JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV)- This is the first weekend of the 2019 Mississippi State Fair and Walt Grayson was there the first day.

Kind of like every other State Fair, but then again, they are all different. Lots of people come for different reasons such as the rides, the food, or just to be there.

Jackson resident Pat Cargile never misses a day of the State Fair. She’s there every day including day one, Wednesday.

Pat Cargile says, “I love everything about the fair. I enjoy the festivities, the concerts, the food.”

Walt: Pat didn’t have long to wait to get in the day I met her. Moments later the ribbon was cut, the Morton High School Band paraded in followed by the first of this year’s paying customers. As best as I could tell young Elin Hughes from Oxford was the first fair-goer through the gates this year.

Everybody wants to know what’s new every year. I’ve not seen the double-decker carousel before- up in the kid’s section. And there’s ice skating which is returning to the fair after a 50-year hiatus. Some of the regulars returning, the ever-popular free biscuits and molasses- gives you some carbs and sugars to help you take on the mile-long midway. Not that you can’t find plenty of that as you go- fried Oreos and donut hamburgers. The midway is where you can gauge how old you are by what’s here and isn’t anymore. One thing, I didn’t see anyone guessing ages and weights. Maybe there are some things we don’t want to be reminded of while you are out having a good time. The Snake Woman and the Ape Man and their other sideshow buddies have been absent for a long time now. I remember them. I can’t say I miss them. I never paid to go in and see them.

But the smell of State Fair food is here. As autumn as the smell of leaves burning. And the colors of the neon’s- and now, the LED- lights are here. The first colors of fall here in the Deep South way before the leaves start turning to any great degree.

The games are here. Try your luck- there’s always a winner. Just read the sign or listen to the attendant coaxing you in with the alluring promises of instant riches- or instant something you have absolutely no room for when you get it back home.

And the rides- that’s the biggest generation gap. The young people flock to them, the young adults still hang in with them for the thrills- the older folks pass by and smile- knowing life presents enough built-in thrills without having to go ask for them.

To me, the lure of the fair is the whole package- seeing how it’s reborn anew every year- the smells- the cacophony of screams from the riders and the pitch of the barkers and the roar of the machinery, all blending together into the autumn symphony of State Fair.

There is an extra day of State Fair this year, going through MONDAY the 14th so it can be open on the Columbus Day holiday.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending Stories