State Fair Preps - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

State Fair Preps

When 5 o'clock Wednesday night rolls around the Ferris wheel will be spinning and the smell of funnel cake will fill the air. Those are some of the exciting reminders of the Mississippi State Fair, which will kick-off in the Fairgrounds on October 6 and continue through Oct. 17.

Behind the scenes however the state fair takes on a different form of excitement. The anticipation of having everything set-up and ready to go by the time the gates open.

On Tuesday, food and carnival game vendors were getting their areas primed and ready, looking forward to a potential record turnout, according to the event's executive director. More than 700,000 attended in 1997 and Billy Orr thinks that the good weather could mean surpassing that record figure.

"Last year we had rain on nine out of the 12 days and this year the forecast through the fair will be good," Orr said.

According to WLBT's seven-day outlook not a drop of rain is forecast for the next week.  However, if the weather does not entice the public, Orr is certain their economy friendly-fun will.

"The only thing that you have to pay for, except the Hank (Williams) Jr., concert, is admission at the gate," Orr said. "Everything else is free."

With unemployment close to 10 percent it is not just fair-goers looking forward to the annual event, but also those looking for a job.  Hundreds came to the Fairgrounds in search of part-time work Tuesday morning.

"I'm down here looking for a job," Andrew Black said.

Black worked at the fair last and he said he earned nearly $1,000.  

"I just knew who to talk to, because I worked last year here," Black explained. "I looked for the right people and he told me to be here at 2 o'clock tomorrow."

Black was successful, but the best others could find was to be told to "stick around" and maybe something would be available. Such was the case for Courtney Barnes, who is unemployed.

"Hopefully something comes through for me, because I'm really desp (interrupted themselves),not desperate, but I'm really in search for a job," Barnes said.

For those in search entertainment, it will be easy to find and economical. General admission and parking is $5 each and children under the age of six are free.

For a complete list of activities for the 2010 State Fair, click here.

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