Walt's Look Around: Two sisters share 80 plus years of fair memo - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Walt's Look Around: Two sisters share 80 plus years of fair memories

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JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

The sound of the barkers and the smells of the food drifts up the hill from the fairgrounds as it has for over a century and a half in Jackson as the state fair gets underway.

Well, not FAR away, Barbra Fortenberry Hederman and her sister Lynn Smith sit in Barbara's Belhaven area home to plan their trip to this year's fair and remember what they used to look forward to when they were children, and what they remember about State Fair.

Barbara: It used to be sawdust, the midway.

Lynn: I loved all the foodstuffs and the pies and cakes and flowers and everything you had in the agricultural building. Loved to go through there.

Walt: Going to the state fair as children was a family outing for Barbara and Lynn. Much of what is here now, the same type of thing has always been here. Sometimes the exact thing. Like Malone's Salt Water Taffy.

Barbara: Daddy would usually go down on Sunday afternoon, he'd slip off and go down and get a sack full and bring it home before we could go on Monday.

Walt: Other things have gone away like the sideshows. I guess the closest thing to those are the fun houses for the kids.

Lynn: They had the Bearded Lady and they had the Skeleton Man who was so thin he didn't look like he could stand up. The fair was innocent. And you could go down and just enjoy yourself for an afternoon.

Barbara: And they let us out of school a half a day to go. Friday at noon we could get out if we were going to the fair.

Walt: The rides are always a part of the fair. The rides ARE the fair to some people. From the merry-go-round to the Farris wheel. The food vendors were there, the age and weight guessers were there. The games have always been here. And people. Always the people.

Lynn: And then as we grew up a little bit we'd go with our friends instead of our mother and daddy. That was the thing to do. You'd get a bunch of kids, go down, you'd spend the whole afternoon, Saturday afternoon and just enjoy it, just take in everything.

Walt: And there have always been the lights, the first colors of fall in Mississippi. And even after all these years the fair still attracts folks like Barbara and Lynn who've made it an October tradition all of their lives. And new folks who are just forming that tradition for themselves.

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