This weekend, we had the opportunity to experience one of Mississippi's finest attractions: The Neshoba County Fair! I don't know about you but I am never one to turn down a trip to the fair. I love the bright lights and colors, I love fair food, I love the rides, I love everything about it. But the Neshoba County Fair, also known as Mississippi's Giant Houseparty, takes the fair to a whole new level!
The fair itself is pretty much what you would expect - rides, food vendors, games, but where this southern gem really gets interesting is the front porch sittin' at the fair cabins! The fair covers 60 acres of land in Philadelphia, MS and has been a Mississippi tradition since 1889. Around the racetrack, there are close to 900 fair cabins, all brightly painted and colorfully lit up, separated into "neighborhoods" with names like Happy Hollows, Sunset Boulevard, and Bourbon Street. Pictures cannot do these cabins justice! The fair cabins are passed down from generation to generation and the families lucky enough to be in on one will come into town and live on the fair grounds for the week.
I was so intrigued by everything I had to ask a few locals for all of the details! The power to the fair cabins is turned on from April to August but most people only stay in the cabins for the nine days that the fair is in town. Several of these fair cabins cost half a million dollars and are considered some of the most prime real estate in the entire state of Mississippi! The fair grounds are like a self-contained city during this week, even opening their own post office for the nine days! Southern literary icon Willie Morris called it a “combination camp meeting, picnic, recital, amusement park, music jamboree, race track, and political rally...[with] no institution quite like it in America.” Ronald Reagan announced his run presidency here and many famous people including John Glen have given political speeches at the Neshoba County Fair.
Friday when the guys got off of work, we piled into the car to make the hour trip from Meridian to Philadelphia. We rode rides, ate our weight in corn dogs and deep fried moonpies, sang along to some old favorites at the Phil Vassar concert, and walked through the fair cabins, daydreaming about which house we would go in on for next year's fair. It was a blast and an absolute Mississippi must-do if you are in the area!
Details: 16800 State 21 South, Philadelphia, MS 39350; www.neshobacountyfair.org. Day tickets, $15; season tickets, $30 ages 10 and up.