Ag Commissioner Gipson previews fair events, entertainment.

The 162nd Mississippi State Fair is next month, October 6 through 17. On Tuesday, Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce Andy Gipson announced the details of the Mississippi State Fair.

Gates to the Mississippi State Fairgrounds will open with a ceremonial ribbon cutting at 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, October 6, at Gate 1 located at the intersection of Jefferson and Amite Streets in Jackson.

“I am looking forward to welcoming everyone to the 162nd Mississippi State Fair,” said Commissioner Gipson. “I’m excited to announce several new additions to this year’s list of attractions and events. We will be hosting the ProRodeo Xtreme Bull Riding Fall Nationals and a Tri-State Rodeo competition right here on the Mississippi State Fairgrounds. The 2021 State Fair will also include the first-ever Mississippi Frontier Village, featuring blacksmiths, train rides, pig races, shows, pony rides, a petting zoo and other exhibits the whole family will enjoy. Similar to last year’s social distance style, we have ensured the public will enjoy all the usual fun-filled activities, while keeping our fairgoers safe.”

The Ag Department released the following notes:

  • Mississippi Heroes Night will be held on Wednesday, October 6, and as a special thank you, the Mississippi Fairgrounds will be offering free admission to all law enforcement officers, first responders, firefighters, healthcare workers, medical professionals and active military personnel. Identification will be required at the gate.
  • For the first time ever, a portion of the Mississippi State Fairgrounds will be transformed into the Mississippi Frontier Village. This new attraction will feature blacksmiths, train rides, pig races, pony rides, shows, entertainment, a petting zoo and exhibits. Located at the west end of the Midway near the Kid Zone, the Mississippi Frontier Village is an attraction you do not want to miss!
  • This year, the Mississippi State Fair will host a Firefighter Combat Challenge, a relay simulating the essential skills of firefighting. Individuals and teams will start at 4:00 p.m. on Thursday, October 14, and the tandems and relays will start at 12:00 p.m. on Friday, October 15. All firefighters are welcome to compete; visit www.firefighterchallenge.com to apply for entry.
  • The Ag Expo, presented by Farm Bureau, will be held inside the Mississippi Trade Mart, and will be open to the public each day of the fair. Enjoy the crowd favorite Genuine MS® Store; an antique and classic car show; vendors from across the nation selling unique products and services; food preservation exhibits; arts and crafts; and other educational showcases of Mississippi agriculture.
  • Musical acts performing on the Budweiser Stage located on the Midway include Smashmouth, Ginuwine, Riley Green, the Bar-Kays, Kayla Berry and the Mississippi Mass Choir. In addition, local acts will perform at the State Fair on the Trustmark Stage located on the Midway. All musical entertainment is free with regular fair admission.
  • The 2021 State Fair will include the annual Horse, Mule and Pony Pulls in the Kirk Fordice Equine Center. The Pony Pull will begin at 1:00 p.m. on Friday, October 15. The Horse Pull will begin at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, October 16, with the Mule Pull immediately following. The additional Mule Jump will take place between the Horse and Mule Pulls.
  • Senior American Day will be held on Wednesday, October 13, from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and will include musical entertainment by Bill Clark of Brandon, Leah Curry-Williams of Jackson and the William Carey Commissioners of Hattiesburg, as well as a speech by Commissioner Andy Gipson. Flu and Pneumonia vaccines will be offered and administered by Walmart, while supplies last.
  • This year, the Mississippi State Fair is adding a ProRodeo Xtreme Bull Riding Fall Nationals tournament and Tri-State Rodeo in the Kirk Fordice Equine Center. The bull riding competition, part of the Xtreme Bulls Tour, will take place at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 9. Tickets to bull riding can be purchased in advance at the Coliseum Box Office or online at www.Ticketmaster.com; prices start at $25.00. Those purchasing advance tickets will receive free fair admission. The rodeo will take place at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, October 10. General admission to the rodeo will be $10.00 per person; tickets can only be purchased at the door, and do not include fair admission.
  • In addition to the longtime tradition of the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce’s famous Biscuit Booth, this year will include a Homemade Biscuit Eating Contest. The contest will be held at the Trustmark Stage on Saturday, October 9, at 12:00 p.m. The public can register for the contest on the Mississippi State Fairgrounds’ Facebook page.
  • Daily activities will take place throughout the 105 acres of the Mississippi Fairgrounds Complex. Children, and adults alike, will enjoy the Farm Bureau Petting Zoo Area and Pig Races, the 4-H and FFA Livestock Shows and will be wowed by performers of the Zerbini Family Circus. Several other vendors, exhibits and attractions will be available to the public, including a Stock Dog Trial, West Texas Rattlesnake Show, the Mystic Wind Choctaw Dancers and more.

As for COVID protocols, the Ag Department said fair rides will be sanitized between each ride and hand sanitizing stations will be available throughout the grounds. Guests may wish to bring and utilize a mask in case they are unable to maintain social distance.  Face masks will be available at the gates to the Mississippi State Fairgrounds.

“Our staff has gone to great lengths to ensure the safety and security of our guests,” said Michael Lasseter, director of the Mississippi Fairgrounds Complex. “I am excited to once again offer visitors and families the chance to enjoy time together, with a day full of rides, shows, good food and entertainment.”

Gate admission price is $5.00 per person and the parking fee is $5.00 per car. Children aged 6 and under will be admitted free of charge.

The public can purchase Advance Admission Tickets at the Coliseum Box Office beginning today at 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, October 6. There will be free admission every weekday from 11:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m., except on Monday, October 11.

For a list of daily events including livestock shows, ride specials and latest information, visit www.msstatefair.com online, download the Mississippi State Fair mobile app or follow the Mississippi State Fairgrounds on Facebook.