124th Fair brings cooler weather
Friday, July 26, 2013 11:30 AM
The big news this non political Fair year might be the weather because a "cool spell" is expected.
Langston Tucker, Molly Kate Tucker and Andrew Burke enjoy Friday morning’s cooler temperatures while playing outside their cabin in their very own red dirt.
Nighttime temperatures are expected to dip into the upper 60s starting today and lasting for a few days.
The Wright family arrived at the Fair about five days ago, traveling about 150 miles in two trucks from Tallulah, La., to attend the 124th Fair with a homemade deck in tow.
Jimmy and Betty Wright moved in a few days before the Fair started to set up.
"We are excited about being here," Betty said. "We enjoy it and glad that we can enjoy it with our kids and grandkids."
Philadelphia resident Stanley Salter says that he takes a few items at a time when he moves into his cabin.
The Salter family begins moving in around Memorial Day.
"We basically just bring what we eat and what we drink," Salter said. " All our appliances stay here at the cabin."
When he is through moving in, Salter said the worst part is over and now he and his family can relax and have fun.
Lenard Head, owner of Head Auctions in Ridgeland, has been attending the Fair for 60 years and while he calls Madison County home, his heart is always in his native town of Neshoba when the Fair comes around.
"I've been going to the Fair for 60 years, never missed a year. The commute is about 75 miles but there's nothing like the Neshoba County Fair - the cabins the horse racing, the agricultural contests, carnival, and the music. I've traveled all over the world and that's the only place you can get something like that," Head said.
Head, along with his two sons Zachary, 29, and William, 33, work together at the family business in Ridgeland, and they pack up for a week of fun at their cabin located in Founder's Square.
"Sixteen people sleep in our cabin and it's one room all open. We have single bunk beds and doubles too. If I didn't have a cabin up there I don't know if I would go as much as I go, but I love it and I've loved it all 60 years of my life and my children love it."
In addition to keeping up with the auction business during the Fair, the family has made quite a name for themselves in the refreshment department.
They run Lindsey's Lemonade Stand, a Fair constant that serves fresh-squeezed lemonade and corn dogs.
"Our lemonade stand has been there for about 60 years. It's a lot to get ready for every year but it's worth it. It was my grandfather's and he handed it down to my brother and I. I haven't missed a Fair since I've been born. I was two weeks old when I went to my first Fair," Zachary said.
Zachary laughingly added, "I like getting away from everyday life when I work the lemonade stand at the Fair even though it's long hours and hard work. It's the love that makes our lemonade so special. My grandfather used to say it was the water up there that makes it good."
Sylvia Mars is another Madison County resident who comes for the Fair. A native of Neshoba, Mars is the owner of Mars Marketing Company in Ridgeland. She always makes time to go to Philadelphia for the Fair each year.
"We have a cabin , the Mars/Hangar cabin and we sleep 60 people so we have a big family reunion on Saturday night with about 100 people. All of my brothers and sisters come back to the Fair. I'm the youngest of six," she said.
"I have three sons and three little grandchildren and I just can't wait to get there and spend quality time with them, watching them play and get away from the daily routine. There's nothing like watching the children be themselves and having fun."
For Mars, the Fair is more than just the rides, food, music and shopping, it's about family. She said she is most excited about watching her grandchildren play and have fun, as well as seeing her oldest son, well-known Mississippi singer/songwriter Charlie Mars, come home to reunite with everyone.
Mars said working in Madison County and preparing for the Fair can get pretty hectic sometimes however, she's done it for so long that packing up to go to Neshoba from Madison County has become routine to her.
"When you're working it gets pretty hectic and we have an old cabin so we have to make several trips before the Fair to get it cleaned up before all your company gets there," she said.
"So I'm trying to run around and do work and prepare but I've got my routine down and you just kind of get used to packing up and going over that way."
She added, "The Fair is just that unique of an experience that it's something we do every year and will continue to."
Political speaking begins Wednesday. On Thursday, Gov. Phil Bryant will address Fairgoers at 10:30 a.m. (See a complete schedule of all events at neshobacountyfair.org.)
As for the bigtime entertainers, the grandstand will be the venue to musical concerts during the fair featuring The Dustin Lynch Show on Tuesday; The Greg Bates Show on Wednesday; The Joe Nichols Show on Thursday; and The Craig Morgan Show on Friday.
Harness and running races are held each day of the Fair beginning Sunday. Mitchell Bros. & Sons Amusements will be open on the midway each day as well as a free petting zoo at the cattle arena.
The Harper, Morgan and Smith PRCA Rodeo will continue Saturday of the Fair at 7:30 p.m.
The Philadelphia Sertoma Club's Heart O'Dixie Triathlon was to get underway this morning with the first competitors to cross the finish line at the grandstands.
Also planned throughout the day on Saturday is the Fair's Arts and Crafts Show on Founders Square featuring over 100 vendors.
Thacker Mountain, the Oxford-based radio program hosted by Jim Dees, will bring its unique blend of humor and music to the pavilion on Founders Square today from 8 p.m. until 10 p.m.
The show will feature the house band,
The Yalobushwhackers, Memphis Soul Band, the Bo-Keys, ESPN journalist Wright Thomson and Blues singer Beth McKee.
Worship services conducted by the Rev. Scott Boater and God's House are planned for 9:30 a.m. Sunday at the pavilion on Founders Square.
Also planned on Sunday are an antique car show, a performance by the Vernon Brothers at the grandstand and a concert by First Baptist Church Choir at the pavilion at 6:30 p.m.
There will be a gospel music concert featuring The Way of the Cross Quartet and Celebration II at the grandstand Sunday night beginning at 8 p.m.
Brig. Gen. Roy Robinson, executive director of the National Guard Association of Mississippi, will speak at the Veteran's Memorial Service on Tuesday of the Fair. It will be on Founders Square.