Staying safe at the Mississippi State Fair after ‘balloon pop’ incident

Staying safe at the Mississippi State Fair after ‘balloon pop’ incident
Friday night Fairgoers heard what they thought was gunshots, when in reality, Officials say it was actually Balloon Pop's. A fight broke out just moments before the incident, sending the crowd into panic mode. (Source: WLBT)

JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Balloons mistaken for gunshots sent the crown into chaos Friday night at the Mississippi State fair. A fight broke out minutes before the loud noise.

“We are not going to tolerate the foolishness. We will not tolerate it. We all come to the fair to have a good time and we will have a good time,” said Hinds County Sheriff Victor Mason.

People attending the fair tell 3 on your side it’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt. Some say they don’t feel as safe attending the annual event as they used to.

Jayda Johnson was there that night and witnessed it all.

“It actually didn’t seem as busy as it usually would have been on a Friday night. I just remember at first everything was fine and then all of a sudden people just started running. At this point I am just trying to stay still and not follow the big crowd. They would run one way and then turn around and run the other way.”

Hinds County Officials responded to the incident within minutes. Something Hinds County Sheriff Victor Mason promised they would do.

“This year we are going to step it up a bit. We included the state Fire Marshal’s office, Jackson police, of course Hinds County, and our SWAT patrol unit.”

AMR checked out 30 people for injuries related to the incident.

Jackye Gregory wasn’t there that night but heard all about it online.

“Well at first I did hear there were gun shots. Everyone on social media was saying people were shooting. Then the next day it was announced really.. it was just balloons.”

“Let’s be real. No system is full proof... but we are going to try our darn best.”

Officials want to remind people when incidents like this occur, it’s best to remain calm and contact the nearest authorities.

Both the AMR and Hinds County Sheriff Department tents are located at the center of the fairgrounds, just in case you need them.

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