It’s an iconic, old-school favorite pastime that has been jumpstarting Mississippi summers since the 1800s-the Neshoba County Fair in Philadelphia.
Slated for July 22 to July 29, and now christened as the state’s Giant House Party, the fair is a two-day meeting of local farmers and an eight-day event. This historical gem is considered the best summer country fair in Mississippi and annually attracts about 25,000 festival-goers.
It’s also the largest campground fair in the United States with more than 500 RV sites to accommodate overnight attendees and has the only licensed horse racing track in the state that dates back to 1914.
The fairgrounds will come to life with rides, games, vendors, a petting zoo, antique car show, livestock shows, and musical entertainment such as Sawyer Brown, Scotty McCreery, Michael Ray, and others.
And, of course, the classic hallmark fair food with fresh-squeezed, tangy lemonade, crunchy corn dogs, and freshly made funnel cake will take center stage.
Probably the most unique feature is about 600 old-fashion lodging cabins, which have been passed down through families for generations. Some date back as far as the 1891 fair.
The inaugural fair-The Coldwater Fair-made its debut in 1889. The name was changed to the Neshoba County Stock and Agricultural Fair Association in 1891 and moved to its current locale. Soon after, the cabins were built and in 1898 oaks were planted to shade what’s now known as Founder’s Square.
Over the years, the fair has become a political vote stumping haven for presidents and on down and has seen the likes of President Ronald Reagan and U.S. Sen. John Glenn of Ohio, one of NASA’s original seven Mercury astronauts.
Families still gather for reunions and friends, old and new, visit every summer as they have since 1889.
Click here for the Neshoba County Fair Facebook page and additional information.
*Photo courtesy of the Neshoba County Fair Facebook Page