Source: By Roslyn Anderson – WLBT.Com
JACKSON, MS (WLBT) – The Mississippi State Fairgrounds are alive with lights, rides and thousands of people.
Wednesday the ribbon was cut, and the gates opened for 11 days of fun and excitement.
Mississippians have been coming together for the annual state fair for 150 years.
Attending the first day of the fair is a tradition for most families who line up for tickets on the newest rides and crowd the midway in search of fair favorites.
“I come to the fair every year. I enjoy riding the ferris wheel and all the fun roller coasters,” said Miss Junior Mississippi State Fair Katelin McNeese of Brandon.
Families will see some price increases.
Admission and parking $5.00, the same as in 2008, but unlimited rides are now $25.00.
The price for taffy is the same as last year, nine dollars a box and five dollars per bag.
Chicken-on-a-Stick and shish kabobs are $6.00, and it’s $7.00 for a jumbo turkey leg.
The Pronto Pup is now up to $4.00.
Fair workers say times are tough all over the country.
“Traveling with the fair you use gas and stuff life that and with that going up we got to go up too or we can’t make it and would have to close our doors. So everybody’s struggling,” said Pronto Pups employee John Summers.
Marily Joyner of Brandon brought her daughter Grace opening day.
“This will probably be our only visit this year with the budget and all,” said Joyner.
Fair officials hope for continued dry weather and are optimistic about breaking attendance records.
“We’ve been told by other people at the other fairs that it’s been a pretty good year and they think it’s because people have not traveled as far away from home. Instead of going to the beach or going to the mountains they stayed home or maybe they’ve come looking for local entertainment where it won’t cost them so much,” said Fair Executive Director Billy Orr.
“It’s just a matter of your budgeting. I mean if you know it’s something yo want to do, you just have to sacrifice things that you have to do others,” said Rhonda Bass of Jackson.
Efforts are underway to keep you healthy among the crowds.
Hand sanitizers are beside the petting zoo and along the midway.
The State Health Department is also on the grounds.
There are rides galore, games and prizes as usual, and don’t forget to stop in to see the exotic animals the Jackson Zoo Keepers exhibit.
The fair continues through October 18th.