The South Mississippi Fair first opened its gates in 1917.  There have been only two years that the fair wasn’t held due to historic events; WWII and Hurricane Katrina. Friday, October 18, at 5 p.m. the gates will open once again for the 100th Edition of the South Mississippi Fair.

To celebrate the 100th Edition a Fireworks Show will be held on Saturday night, October 19 and again on Wednesday, October 23 beginning each evening at 9 p.m.; weather permitting.  Should weather prevent the fireworks show from happening, the show will be rescheduled for another evening.  The fireworks will be set up at the bottom of the midway near the parking lot area.  The street leading to the fairgrounds parking area, Doncurt, will be closed for the Fireworks Show each night by 8:45 p.m.

Fair goers will notice a new look to the fairgrounds the moment they make their way through the new main entrance and ticket office building with its barnlike style.  The Arts Building and the Agriculture Building have both received face lifts. 

“The Art Building had been renovated in the early 70s to include pegboard walls and a suspended ceiling.  When plans were made to restore the building to as close to its original state as possible, the Fair Commission maintenance staff gutted the building revealing beautiful heart pine tongue and groove walls,” said Pam Holifield, special projects coordinator. “In addition, there have been repairs to the Women’s rest room, and the addition of a newly constructed Men’s rest room.” 

Over two thousand clip twinkle lights adorn the tongue and groove walls that are awaiting the creative artwork to be displayed by students and individual artist from throughout the Laurel-Jones County area. 

Holifield said after this year’s fair, plans are for an addition to the Agriculture Building that will include rest rooms, a prep kitchen and storage for tables and chairs.  Once the addition is completed, the building will serve as a venue for different events. 

Inside the entrance to the Ag Building will be a memorial plaque in memory of volunteer Betty White, who Holifield said greeted everyone for years.  White passed away in February of this year.

Around the Arts Building and the Agriculture Building area will be several popular attractions including Granpa Cratchet’s 2019 Safety First Tour, Disc-Connected K9’s, and Emerson Farms -Pig Races, Petting Zoo, Pony Rides, and Camel Rides.  The Sea Lion Splash will be back this year for only 5 days starting Tuesday, October 22. The JCATS Lawn Tractor Pull will be behind the AG Building.

Roaming throughout the midway on a daily basis will be Pirate Man Dan and Robocars.

Musical entertainment during the fair will include John Helveston and The Classix who will open the midway concert stage on Friday night, October 18 and perform from 6 p.m. until 11 p.m.  On Saturday, October 19 from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m. DJ Spinning Top will be mixing music from the stage and taking the stage at 6 p.m. until 11 p.m. will be Champagne Jam.  On Sunday, October 20 Answered Prayer will be performing from 2 p.m. until 5 p.m. 

Starting off the week on Monday, October 21 the Apple Pie Baking contest will take place on the midway concert stage from 6 p.m. until 7 p.m. DJ Spinning Top will take over at 7 p.m. and will be mixing music until 11 p.m.  On Tuesday, October 22 Derrick LeFevre & Triple Threat will take the stage at 6 p.m. and will perform until 11 p.m.  Wednesday, October 23 Mojeaux Band will perform from 6 p.m. until 11 p.m. Thursday, October 24 Catch 22 will perform 6 p.m. until 11 p.m.  Friday, October 25 Compozitionz will be on the midway concert stage from 6 p.m. until 11 p.m. Saturday, October 26 DJ Spinning Top will return to send music out from the stage from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m.  Closing out the Fair’s entertainment from the midway concert stage will be Davis County who will perform from 6 p.m. until 11 p.m.

There will be two nights of entertainment at the Magnolia Center this year.  On Tuesday night, October 22, Sawyer Brown will take the stage at 8 p.m.  On Thursday, October 24, at 8 p.m. the Mark Farner American Band will perform.

               The South Mississippi Junior Livestock Show will take place on Saturday, October 26.  In the Magnolia Center at 9 a.m. will be the Commercial Heifer and Steer Show: Beef Showmanship followed by Beef Breeding Show. In the Conliff Barn at noon beginning with Showmanship will be the Market Hog Show, Wether Dam Show, Market Lamb Show, Commercial Doe Show, and Market Goat Show.

For more information go online to somiss.com and/or see the Fair ad in this week’s edition of the Laurel Impact, Wednesday, October 16.

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