Meridian Day at the Fair

Neshoba County, Miss. Wednesday is Meridian Day at the Neshoba County Fair.
Organizations, businesses, and city leaders try to show off all that Meridian has to offer its neighbors.

The east Mississippi Business Development Corporation says Meridian Day pulled in over 1,000 visitors to the fair from across the country.

"It brings in people to our school, it brings people to our community college, and it brings people to visit," said Susie Broadhead, chairman of Meridian Day. "Tourism is doing such a great job. And they're really getting out the things that we're doing in Meridian and Lauderdale County to not only east central Mississippi, but to all of the state and all over the nation."

That intermingling can especially benefit Lauderdale and Neshoba counties.

"The turnout has been fantastic," said Herman Stegall, senior executive adviser for Rush. "I've seen more people from Meridian, and they're all mixing with the Neshoba folks. It's a good mix. I love these people; this fair is just wonderful. I hope the tradition continues. It has been a real economic boost for everything. Think of all the air conditioners they've sold."

Meridian Community College, Mississippi State University, Meridian tourism, the Navy and the hospitals had the biggest setups in Founders Square Wednesday morning. They handed out door prizes and other freebies all day.

"We're very excited to be here today at the Neshoba County Fair for Meridian Day," said Deanna Smith, MCC director of advising. "We've had a really good turnout; we've been handing out fans, talking to students about classes that are available. It has been really good. I mean, it's hot, but it's always fun."

And many don't realize the planning that goes into this one-day event.

"We have worked all summer to prepare for this event," said EMBDC intern K.K. Williams. "We were able to get several different contributors to come out and be a part. It was just a fun experience to have everyone come out. We had wonderful door prizes, and it was just overall a good event."

The Neshoba County Fair began as the Coldwater Fair back in 1889. The first politician spoke there seven years later, then-Gov. Joseph McLaurin. The race track was built in 1914. Electricity was installed in 1939.