Harrison County

Harrison County’s first fair in 80 years promises to be eclectic

Roseanne McConnell, Doris Weems, Lynn Grier, Diane Conn and Francis Powell register exhibits for the Harrison County Fair on Tuesday at the hurricane shelter on County Farm Road.
Roseanne McConnell, Doris Weems, Lynn Grier, Diane Conn and Francis Powell register exhibits for the Harrison County Fair on Tuesday at the hurricane shelter on County Farm Road. jphampton@sunherald.com

Someone obviously used the R-word.

“You never say the R-word during fair week,” said Jourdan Hartshorn, the Harrison County Fair’s 21-year-old director of community relations and guest services, as raindrops tapped out a rhythm on the golf cart he was driving through the fairgrounds off County Farm Road.

He and Dee Conover, the director of vendors, were certain the county’s first fair in about 80 years would go on regardless of the weather as they drove around the grounds where carnival rides, games, food booths and an ambitious list of attractions were going to have to sprout virtually overnight to make the fair a reality by its opening Wednesday at 5 p.m.

“The carnival is coming in tonight,” Hartshorn said. “They’re driving in from Louisiana.”

It’s all put together by the volunteer Harrison County Fair Association.

If all goes as planned, guests will arrive to find some fairly exotic fare: Corks & Cleavers and Cafe Climb will be there, for example. And, they’ll have all the usual favorites: caramel corn, candy corn, roasted corn, ice cream, sno-balls and pizza. But they’ll also have Snow Boogers.

“Snow Boogers is the big one everybody wants to get to,” said Conover.

In all, 80 vendors have signed up.

Admission for the fair is free but there are charges for some of the inside attractions, such as music and carnival rides. Proceeds will benefit a variety of charities.

South Mississippi Special Needs Organization will have a Special Needs Family Fun Day on Saturday. There will be youth and pro rodeos and a classic car cruise-in.

Wild at Heart and Underdog Rescue will be there for the furry friends. Fleur de Teal will raise cancer awareness.

“The whole event is a fundraiser,” she said. “All the profits will go right back into the community.”

There will be plenty of places to stay dry with indoor exhibits by the Mississippi State Extension Homemakers at the nearby hurricane shelter, laser tag, corn hole and other games under pavilions and 4-H exhibits, if there are any.

“We don’t have any, yet,” said Conover.

Sheron Watkins, county coordinator for Mississippi State University, said 4-H in the coastal counties isn’t so much about farm animals these days.

“Kids are more into robotics, computers and public speaking,” she said.

And right now, the forecast looks encouraging. The chance of rain is 10 percent with highs in the upper 80s and lows in the lower 70s.

Paul Hampton: 228-896-2330, @JPaulHampton

What sights you’ll see


Christian Night Bands 5-7:30 p.m.

Christian Night Service 7:30-9 p.m.

Sunset Story Time 7 p.m.


Youth night activities 5 p.m.

Youth Rodeo 7:30 p.m.

Miss & Junior Miss Harrison County Fair Pageant 7-9 p.m.


Fit Field Friday 5-8 p.m.

Live DJ 5-8 p.m.

TNT Tri State Rodeo 6:30-11 p.m.

Wagon Train 7:15-7:30 PM

Trent Ladner 7:30-10 p.m.

Ryan Broshear 10:30-midnight


Classic Car Cruise-In 9 a.m.-2 p.m.

Corn Hole Tournament noon-5 p.m.

Hot Air Balloon Rides 2 p.m.-sunset

Live DJ 5-6:15 p.m.

Lainey Wilson 6:30-8 p.m.

Southern Farm 6:45-7 p.m.

Sunset Story Time 7-8 p.m.

Wagon Train 7:15-7:30 p.m.

Southern Halo 8:15-8:30 p.m.

Josh Thompson 9-10:15 p.m.

Frank Foster 10:30-midnight


5D Rodeo Exhibition 10 a.m.-1 p.m.

Pageant (ages 0-4) 10 a.m.

5D Rodeo 1-7 p.m.

Pageant (ages 5-11) 1 p.m.

Law Enforcement/First Responder Lunch 1 p.m.

9/11 Tribute 2 p.m.

Jake Thibodeaux 2-4 p.m.

VA Pinning Ceremony 3 p.m.

3C. 4-6 p.m.

Southern Halo 6-8 p.m.

Sunset Storytime 7 p.m.

Jason Miller 8-10 p.m.

Find out more at facebook.com/msharrisoncountyfair/