Mississippi State Fair to go on despite COVID-19 concerns

Updated: Sep. 17, 2020 at 7:52 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - It’s a yearly tradition that will go on despite the pandemic.

Organizers of the Mississippi State Fair say they plan to hold the event next month despite the governor’s executive order limiting gatherings. The fairgrounds sits on 105 acres.

Fair Commissioner Andy Gipson says that’s enough space for fair goers to stay safe.

Gipson said, “We’ve been operating on the assumption that the governor’s order will stand and, under the way it operates right now, for outdoor events people have the option to social distance at least 6 feet or wear a mask. If they can’t do those, some requirements will apply but we’re encouraging everybody to bring a mask to the fair just in case you get an a tight situation.”

Visitors to the fair will be monitored at each gate. Should they reach capacity for what they feel is safe, they may close the gates temporarily until there’s enough space. Social distancing will also be monitored.

Andy Gipson said, “We will be cleaning, all of our vendors will be wearing masks and gloves, there will be regular cleaning of the stations and rides are going to be misted and sanitized between every single ride.”

This week, Dr. Thomas Dobbs stated he won’t be attending the fair or a football game for that matter. It’s his personal decision to mitigate risk. But does he think you’ll be safe at the fair?

Dr Thomas Dobbs said, “We’ve been working with the Agriculture Commissioner and his team and ways to do it safely. As far as diminishing size, masks are required. If you can keep people far enough away from another with a mask outdoors, it’s going to be essentially safe.”

The decision to open the fair is also about money. Officials say it brings in 80 million dollars in revenue every year. A significant amount of money for the state and the City of Jackson.

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