The Lowndes County Fair had about 3,000 attendees in 2011.
That number jumped to nearly 5,000 last year and if you ask Jane Burns Jordan, the president of the Columbus Fair and Livestock Association, the reason for the increase is clear.
“We brought livestock back,” she said.
At the 2012 fair, for the first time in years, a 4-H Club livestock show for locals was part of the event.
This year’s fair takes place on Sept. 10 through Sept. 14 at the Columbus Fairgrounds. And a 4-H livestock show is again on the agenda.
“That’s what a county fair is all about right there,” Jordan said. “That’s what we’re doing.”
Lowndes County Extension Agent and Director Reid Nevins, who organizes the show, said about 30 4-H members from Lowndes and Clay counties took part in 2012 show. He expects this year’s number of participants to approach 60. 4-H members from Lowndes, Oktibbeha, Monroe, Clay and Noxubee are being invited to the 2013 fair.
Dairy goats, markets goats, cattle, rabbits, poultry and other livestock will be shown.
Nevins said when older generations think of a county fair, they automatically think “livestock competition.”
“For them, coming out is kind of like going back in time,” he said.
Nevins encouraged people to attend the event.
“They work with their livestock everyday,” Nevins said of contestants. “They have a lot of time and a lot of work involved in it. It’s great to come out and show support.”
Jordan, who became the head of Columbus Fair and Livestock Association in 2011 after the passing of her father, longtime president Bob Burns, said fairgoers can also expect the usual food, exhibits and crafts to be offered. There will also be a petting zoo and on Saturday night a roller derby match.
Crescent City Amusements has been tapped for the second year in a row to supply the fair with carnival rides. Jordan said they are expected to bring 17 rides, as well as games.
Entry fee for the fair is $2-per-person daily. The fairgrounds are located on Highway 69 South.
William Browning was managing editor for The Dispatch until June 2016.