Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Sid Salter: Neshoba County Fair's Welcome Return After Pandemic Hiatus

  Even for the hot and dirty clean-up after two years of absence, it was good to get back to our Neshoba County Fair cabin after last year’s pandemic hiatus.


Like most native Neshobans, my year dates from the Fair. There’s before the Fair and after the Fair. Despite that, I supported the 2020 decision of the Fair Association Board of Directors to shutter the event.


The Neshoba County Fair 2020 closure marked the first time since World War II that the annual event was not held. For the record, the event voluntarily shut down in 1942, 1943, 1944, and 1945 before resuming operations in 1946.


It was the right thing to do in the interest of public safety. While the day visitors skew young, the folks who live in the cabins and RVs are an older crowd with the usual vulnerabilities.


But the development and proliferation of effective COVID-19 vaccines make this year’s return a reasonable proposition. So, our cabin is clean, the beds made, and we’re ready for the return of our families and friends.


Since this is an “off” political year, the political speeches will likely be more nakedly partisan and pet project policy-oriented – think dealing with the broken voter initiative process than personal.


But the Founder’s Square Pavilion is still the state’s premier political stump in any year. Few places in the South have a more robust appetite for old-time political stump speaking than the Fair. For a full lineup of the political speeches and other events, visit


North Mississippians recently returned to the Jacinto Courthouse, so the two prominent surviving political stumps in the state will both be back in business in 2021. But the COVID-19 pandemic isn’t over, and the emergence of the so-called “Delta” variant means that politicians will be talking about it and how the pandemic intersects with public policy.


One public policy debate that won’t find much of an audience at Neshoba is the call for a vaccine mandate. Few Democrats and virtually no Republicans in office in Mississippi at the federal or state level have embraced that notion even if they believe it to be the appropriate public policy.

For students of history, the anti-vaccine movement has been around globally for some 300 years.


COVID-19 is but the latest scourge that could be stopped by a vaccine that has encountered organized opposition. Mandatory vaccinations are a political non-starter in Mississippi under current conditions.


This summer, I will welcome my grandson Brooks Salter Gregory to his first Fair. He is the sixth generation of my Salter family to attend, beginning with my great-grandfather John Henry Salter. Brooks will share company with me on a porch where my father, his great-grandfather, shared time with me.


The Fair is what I have left of my childhood and is the sole repository of my memories of childhood days in Neshoba County, most of it centering around the Arlington community home of my grandparents, John and Emma Salter.


For me, there are friendly ghosts at Neshoba, and the return of an “open” Fair is a sign of progress and increasing normalcy. But even as a fully vaccinated grandfather, I see increased usage of masks due to the Delta variant.


In Omaha last month, I interacted daily with close-quarters crowds of 25,000-plus. There were a few masks present, but not many for what is primarily an outdoor event. So armed with the COVID-19 vaccine, I am looking forward to time with friends and kin at Neshoba.


But I do so with the knowledge that some will be unvaccinated. As a child of the Eisenhower administration who remembers both the deadly impacts of polio and standing in line for the oral Salk polio vaccine on a sugar cube, the scientific logic of the anti-vaccine movement eludes me.


The political logic? That’s another matter entirely. People mightily resist being forced to do anything and punish those doing the forcing at the ballot box.

Sid Salter is a syndicated columnist. Contact him at



Anonymous said...

COVID Convention, best way to eliminate some rednecks. Y’all have fun.

Anonymous said...

I KNEW it was just a matter of time before ole Sid would post his "we have a cabin" nauseam...

Anonymous said...

Not many more generations are going to tolerate a “fair” in August with nothing to do and no cell coverage. Being seen with the political class be damned.

Anonymous said...

I wont make it this year, but wish all fair goers well!

And I hope 8:41 stays in Mom's basement 'til science cures all disease and lets the rest of the rednecks enjoy living.

Anonymous said...

Never been. Isn't it really just a place to go listen to elected and future elected spew one lie after the next to earn your vote ? Will it be woke this year ? Will it be hijacked by the new influx of west coast libbies that live in Jackson now ? Will Doctor Dobbs be there to tell the Science Naaz!'s how he has become a woke d-bag ? Will Tater be holding his hand in unity ?

Anonymous said...

What a great event for those who have a cabin.

What a wretched event for those who don’t have a cabin.

Scheduled To Appear said...

You plebes who don't understand the finer things of a nuanced, woke life can just hang out at the corner and eat a service-station hot dog with chips and a Shaefer Light. Remember, wings are always available at the finer gasoline emporia.

PS: You can deaux a meet and greet with Chokwe and Jerry Mitchell at Sid's cabin. Marty Wiseman is scheduled to appear at Sid's, Wednesday at noon. Autograph's available. Cash only.

Anonymous said...


What west coast libby would move to MS? Proof? We don't believe you... you need more people!

Anonymous said...

9:24 at the rate it’s going between them dieing off, and their children moving out of state pretty soon there won’t even be rednecks left in Mississippi.

Anonymous said...

Sid is a good man and a great writer. He can't help his liberal bent and dissociation from the reality of taxes, freeloading, etc. Its a common literary trait. Altruism is noble when its pen to paper.

Anonymous said...

10:40 ......all the proof you need starts from Baptist to UMC. JuST GO EAT IN FONDREN and read tags. Chokeonmy LaDumbo has created a city just for them. Don't act as if Jackson isn't a beacon for libbies.

Anonymous said...

9:41 is correct. The difference between the "have a cabin" and the "have not a cabin" experience is tremendous. First time I went I wound up with a day off and drove there to see what it was all about. Hot and dirty and people looked at me like "who are you and what are you doing here?" Dull, dull, dull. A few years later a friend with a cabin invited me and I gave it another try. Completely different experience - friendly folks and good conversation. So, my verdict: most over-rated event in Mississippi. If you are from there or have family/good friends go have a great time (you probably do already). If you ain't from there, there is absolutely no point in going. Even the political speeches are dull - the elected officials just recite the same talking points you hear on Gallo It's a local county fair that has been around for more than 100 years. That's it.

Fordice Will Take You To The Woodshed said...

Where else, though, could you have seen John Arthur Eaves in a white linen suit and Cliff Finch totin' a red lunch box? I mean, really. Answer that question and shut up.

Anonymous said...

10:51 I love it when people make fun of others but cannot spell. Liberal 101 of making fun is to be sure and spell correctly. The correct spelling is dying, not dieing.

Anonymous said...

I’d rather take a beating then be forced to attend the Neshoba County Fair.

Anonymous said...

"Shaefer Light." - isn't that a New York beer? Available down around these parts? I haven't seen one in 30 - 40 years, even when traveling up north......

Anonymous said...

Neshoba County has the lowest COVID vaccination rate of any county in the state. Barely 1 out of 5 people have gotten the shot. People cruising from cabin-to-cabin all week is going to make this a superspreader event. The month of August is going to be brutal as the infection makes its way through the attendees and into their more vulnerable family members and friends.

Anonymous said...

Don't y'all even watch local ?

Our cases are the highest since February.

Delta variant is so contagious, it's breaking through to the vaccinated.

Children are on ventilators now.

Geez, ostriches, get your heads out of the sand or wherever you've put them!

Anonymous said...

Don’t worry about the spelling bud, just watch before your eyes as the narrative changes you already see it from Sean , Mitch and even Trumps former liar in chief on FOX today!

Anonymous said...

FOX anchors are all vaccinated & behind closed doors they laugh at their own viewers.

93 Degrees And Sweatin' said...

Not one in twenty attendees lives in Neshoba County. This is a destination event for the traveling woke and entitled.

Remember to pull to the right lane or shoulder when those MHP Dodge Chargers come up behind you doing 88. It's the law. And they're hauling precious cargo to Philadelphia.

Anonymous said...

Mucho overrated. Like watching paint dry.

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Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

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This is definitely a Beaver production.

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Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

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