Over half a million people attended 2022 Mississippi State Fair

Published: Oct. 19, 2022 at 11:06 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - The Mississippi State Fair ended this past weekend with strong attendance numbers.

But just how many people actually attended the event, and was it a big money maker for the metro?

Agriculture Commissioner Andy Gipson says he is pleased with the attendance numbers for the Mississippi State Fair this year.

“We were aiming for 600,000 we had 519,000 people and we will take that.”

He says although numbers were slightly below the pre-pandemic levels for the 11-day event it was still impressive.

“At first our attendance was a little lower than normal. I think people were waiting to see how this new program would work, but toward the end, we had huge crowds Friday, Saturday, and Sunday the last three days of the fair,” Gipson said

Safety was a major focus at the state fair this year. This year, there were no major incidents at the fair thanks to a boost in security and other safety steps.

The increase in safety comes after the deadly Mississippi Mudbug Festival shooting where multiple people were shot and one person was killed in late April.

Gipson says state, local and municipal law enforcement working together was a major deterrent for crime the fair.

“We expected to have a little lower attendance this year because we did have a new policy but after 9 o’clock,” he said. “Unsupervised youth were not allowed to come without adult supervision. We also have metal detectors at our seven entrances. We were able to have a lot of great families with our strategies. We kept a lot of the troublemakers out of the fairgrounds. Bottom line, we met our goal of having a safe and secure, family-friendly state fair.”

There were also big economic benefits thanks to the state’s largest event in the capital city.

“The recent study the Jackson State put together showed that the state fair carries about a $50 million economic impact for the whole metropolitan area,” Gipson said. “We were very pleased with our numbers. Our number one goal was to have a safe fair, and our numbers were just about where we expected them to be. I think we set the stage to grow it even more next year and looking forward to planning the 2023 Mississippi State Fair.”

Gipson says the new water well system at the fairgrounds also came in handy at the fair.

About 1.3 million gallons of fresh water was used for everything from making lemonade and sweet tea, to washing cattle.

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