Central Mississippi readies for fair season


Residents of central Mississippi are preparing for the annual Choctaw Indian Fair and the Neshoba County Fair.

The Choctaw Indian Fair kicks off this week with carnival rides, food vendors, stickball and entertainment. Fairgoers will have the opportunity to learn more about the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians throughout this fair.

“This fair, you have the chance to see an actual Indian basket being made from start to finish. There is beadwork, traditional social dancing and just kind of a little bit of the culture that the Choctaw Indian nation keeps going,” says Executive Director of the Philadelphia-Neshoba Chamber of Commerce, Tim Moore.

Events from the Neshoba County Fair, also known as ‘Mississippi’s Giant House Party,’ include horse racing, concerts, chair racing and other amusements. This fair plays a unique part in the history of Neshoba County.

“It started out as an agricultural fair in the local community,” Moore said. “The fair continues to do that through the exhibit hall. There are over 600 cabins. They are unique in the fact that this is the one week where they come to life. You can sleep up to as many as 30 or 40 people in some cabins or as little as 10 or 12.”

Both fairs draw in patrons from all over the country, which impacts the area economically.

“We have a lot of good things going for us,” said David Vowell, President of Community Development Partnership. “I was just looking back at some sales tax diversion figures. Back in 2013, the amount of sales tax diversion that came back to the city of Philadelphia was like $3.9 million. This year we are on target to get about $4.6 million. We are having a gradual growth because of all these little things growing into big things. We are proud of our community and the support we have,”

The Choctaw Indian Fair kicks off this Wednesday and will last until Saturday. Tickets are $20 for a season pass and $12 for a day pass. Children under five get in free. The Neshoba County fair will be July 27 through August 3.

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