This week on Mississippi Monday, we are featuring The Neshoba County Fair in Philadelphia, MS! Every July, since 1889, this town becomes "Mississippi's Giant House Party" for one week while hosting The Neshoba County Fair. Over 600 cabins grace this historic land, from around Founder's Square, to Happy Hollow, down Bourbon Street, by the race track, and over to Beverly Hills. Cabins are passed down from generation to generation and are rarely sold, but if one does come up for sale.. it's quite the pretty penny! My family has had a cabin since my dad can remember. He remembers when there wasn't proper plumbing, showers came from a barrel of stored rainwater on the roof, and there certainly wasn't AC. Nowadays, there is sanitary plumbing, showers that don't require a hose, and more window units than you can count.
The Mississippi heat is relentless on this July week, every year! You will see fans blowing of every shape, size, and power! Although, beating this heat is always a big to-do, this annual event is really all about family and food. This whole thing started as a way to catch up with people that you may not see that often. A reunion. A bonding. A time together. The electricity to the fairgrounds is turned off, with the exception of about 3 weeks every year- the week before, the week of, and the week after the Fair- the sole purpose of these grounds.
Campaigning is also a huge tradition of the fair. Campaign signs are almost as abundant as window units, and although politics are not the highlight of my time at the fair, it's neat to know that even Ronald Reagan announced his bid for the Presidency from these grounds. < If only we could up the number of window units and lower the amount of political signs! ;) > When the political rallies are not taking place, amongst the old pews and sawdust covered floor, you are likely to find the daytime flea market or a local and/or famous musician entertaining the night crowd. Neshoba days are long and hot, but the nights tend to be quick and blurred.
Families tend to congregate around every and anything homemade, and of course.. Southern. The weeks menu takes careful and tenuous preparation. From practicing and perfecting to delivering.. breakfasts, brunches, lunches, snacks on snacks, and dinners, but... the desserts.. gracious, my southern soul, the desserts! It's truly food Heaven, on Earth. Alongside the Carnival, where the Ferris Wheel and other loved rides are located, you will also find anyone's most beloved fried delicacies, including but not limited to.. chicken on a stick, pickles, hushpuppies, shrimp, oreos, funnel cakes, the list goes on, and on. Not too long after a cool(ish) morning, a homemade lunch, a walk around the Square, a water balloon fight, a few rides, maybe a cheeky fried oreo, a wander into the free petting zoo... it is more than time for a nap!
Families cram bunk after bunk into each cabin room. When we say "the more, the merrier", we mean it! The more people, the better. The brighter and kookier the cabin, the better. The more food, the better. I feel confident in saying that the Fair is in strong opposition to "everything in moderation"!
If you like a good time, good food, good fun, and can stand the heat... you're in for a treat! Things vital to The Neshoba County Fair: Family, Food, Porches, Musical Entertainment, People Watching, Politics (if you're into that), Rides, and Cold, cold, cold Beer. Join me next time, won't ya!? MK
View All of MK's weekend adventure photos from Neshoba County Fair below