Making Memories at the State Fair

mississippi state fair

The coming of fall means more than pumpkins and cooler weather; it's also the season of carnivals and fairs across the South. Memories of "The Fair" fill my childhood, and I was really excited to share some of those same memories with Micah last weekend at her very first trip to the Mississippi State Fair.

It's always comforting to know that some things remain the same, and going to the fair was like visiting with an old friend. We ate the same taffy, looked at the same displays in the Trade Center, and even saw the same games on the Midway. I'm so glad that I get to share a part of my childhood with my own children, and I hope a trip to the fair is a tradition we won't neglect.

We started in the Trade Center, which is always filled with the best of the best when it comes to crafts and canning. We checked out the jams and jellies that garnered first place in the state, then we meandered through the arts and crafts section, where this delicately crocheted blanket and pretty little button tree caught my eye.

By the time we made it outside, we were all hungry, so we headed to the Midway to search for some lunch. I knew what I wanted before we ever arrived at the fair, and it didn't take long to find what I was looking for: chicken on a stick from Penn's. Dennis' mom ordered some fried pickles, and we found a shady spot to enjoy our meal.

After satisfying our appetites, we headed to the petting zoo so Micah could check out all the animals, but she wasn't a fan. After a goat stuck its head out of the fence at her, she clung to her daddy and looked on from arms length. She wasn't into the petting part of the petting zoo, but she's a curious girl, and there was a lot to look at in that little tent.

As soon as we left the petting zoo, the carousel caught our eyes, and since Micah LOVED the carousel at Dollywood this summer, we snatched up a few tickets and Gran hopped on with her. We should have watched the carousel for one round before we threw her on a horse. The horse that she's on looked crazy for a reason. That was seriously the fastest carousel I've ever seen, and Micah wanted off immediately, but there was no stopping that crazy ride yet. She gladly dismounted when the ride finally stopped, and I vowed to never do that again. From now on I will watch a ride before I put Micah on it. Lesson learned.

After the carousel adventure, we strolled through the livestock barns to check out the cattle show. In case you didn't know, my husband is a country boy, and he grew up in those barns {showing sheep, not cattle}. My family, on the other hand, may have stepped into the barns on occasion, but it was not the main part of our fair experience. Our fair experience revolved around food and rides. Dennis' fair experience revolved around animals. We are so. different.

And then, it was time to go home, but we had one last stop to make before leaving the fair. Dennis and I may have had very different childhood experiences at the fair, but there is one thing that we both share: Malone's Taffy. The fair is not the fair without Malone's taffy. It is, by far, the best thing about the fair. Prices are a little steeper than they used to be, but a box of the sticky sweetness is more than worth the $9 price tag. Yum. We'll be savoring that taffy for a while. If you're lucky, we might share a piece with you.

But only if you're lucky :)

If you live near Jackson and you haven't yet made it to the fair, it's not too late. You have until Sunday night to get out there and enjoy all that the fair has to offer. After that, you'll just have to wait until next year.

Until next time, grace and peace.