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The Mississippi State Fair Begins Today

By Lawayne Childrey | Published 02 Oct 2013 08:58am | comments

Food and rides are just part of the attractions expected to draw thousands of people to the 154th Mississippi State Fair in Jackson.  MPB's Lawayne Childrey reports how safety inspectors are factored into the fun.   


From funnell cakes, to corn on the cob to Shish Kabobs the Mississippi State Fair has something to tickle nearly everyone's  taste buds.


In preparation for tonight's opening, health inspectors have been making sure food vendors  are in compliance with all state laws and guidelines for food safety. Anne Hogue, is the District Environmentalist for the Mississippi Department of health. She says while more than 15 inspectors will make regular checkups on everything from food temperature to workplace cleanliness they are also soliciting assistance from fair goers.  


" We would ask people if they see something going on in a booth, even a booth that's already been inspected to be aware that sometimes mistakes happen and to let us know. If you see something that concerns you and that frightens you about eating the food and also just use good sense. If you see something going on that looks kind of weird there are plenty of booths down here just choose from the next one. Most of these guys are ready and willing and have all kind of interesting things. We have all kinds of new foods for folks to enjoy.


Even though food safety is a big concern for fair goers so are the nearly 100 thrill rides that line the midway.  For the past 10 years Sharon Hupala (Apolo) owner of MAH Consulting has been  tasked with making sure every ride is inspected and deemed safe.


" Every ride has somebody that's trained to do the daily inspections, the daily maintenance. They go through quite a few training programs so  we've never really had a problem with this."


Fair officials say more than 675 thousand people attended the Mississippi State Fair Last year. They are hoping to beat that number this year. The all time attendance record is  695 thousand which was set in 2011.  The Mississippi State Fair runs through October 13th. Lawayne Childrey, MPB News.




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