Back to the beginning: The Start of the Neshoba County Fair

Neshoba County Fair

This is the full week of the Neshoba County Fair. WJTV 12 will be back live on the fairgrounds throughout the week.

WJTV 12’s Walt Grayson has a story about the fair, although it is thoroughly modern today, it still reflects its agricultural roots.

The Neshoba County fair has become politics, entertainment, a place where the kids can play outdoors and where the grown-ups can get away from the work-a-day world and pretend to be whatever they want to be for a week and a few days. The Neshoba County Fair started as a regular old county fair. There are still elements of a regular old county fair that go on here. For instance in the Exhibit Hall, the 4-H members have their displays, the homemakers compete for their skills, the kids coming along in their footsteps do, too.

There are canned goods and quilts and lots of the same kinds of things that have been displayed and put into competition since the early days of the fair.

Even the time of year they hold the fair is rooted in agriculture. There was a time in this country, and not all that long ago, when about 90% of the people lived on the farm. And life was dictated as much if not more by the calendar as the clock- when to plant when to harvest when to get ready to plant again next year. Here in the South, there is about a two-week agricultural magical lull most years just about right now. The end of July the corn has already finished- laid by as they used to call it, or harvested and stored. And the cotton is just now blooming. So it won’t be ready to pick for several more weeks.

So that’s why so many country churches have their revivals about this time of year, and why the Neshoba County Fair is scheduled for right now. Not that very many of these cabin owners are farmers anymore. But this is the time of year the fair has always been held because it was a perfect time to leave the farm behind and have some fun. And the cabins were built because if you were going to have a 10 day fair it was easier just to move here and live than to go back and forth in a horse-pulled wagon.

So whether your favorite thing is the politics and you tend to orbit around the pavilion, or you have a cabin and have your traditions-

Big ole’ house party and they stay up all night.

Or the carnival rides or the lemonade, you have cotton and corn to thank for it. And the competitive spirit that brought dairymen together to see who had the champion bull that year, and the row crop gardener to see who had the best cucumbers- while there wasn’t much else going on.

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