The North Mississippi State Fair kicks off its summer celebration

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Summer fun is heating up at the Batesville Civic Center, and the excitement continues to build for a good cause.

The North Mississippi State Fair and Panola County’s Sheriff’s Rodeo take place Thursday through Sunday.

All proceeds from the North Mississippi State Fair and Panola County Sheriff’s Rodeo benefit Grace Place and The Encounter Center – JR’s House.

“The fair and rodeo together are a tremendous help to us and to JR’s home. We couldn’t do what we do without the support of the community,” said Chris Pope, Executive Director of Grace Place. “The community has been very good to us. This support allows us to reach deeper into individuals and families to help people through their toughest times.”

There will be endless activities for those attending the Summer Celebration kick-off. Children can enjoy many fun activities, such as tug-of-war with goats.

Live music is expected on Thursday evening until 10 p.m. There are also delicious fairground dishes, attractions and games.

Wristbands for rides cost $30, and children weighing 50 pounds or less are allowed to ride goats or sheep.

The bull running, which starts at 7 p.m., is something Rodeo organizer Jeremy Smith has dreamed of for years.

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“Originally, when I first started thinking about it, the county fair that they had a little bit north of here, they had a big 10 rodeo, and they don’t have that anymore and I thought, you know, that used to be really good,” Smith said. “I’d like to bring it back to North Mississippi. I said, you know, I’d really like to have a big rodeo and a state fair.”

After the rodeo, enjoy the concert by local group Class Act. With all the fun activities, Sheriff Shane Phelps explains how he plans to keep this event safe.

“What we’ve done is basically we’ve fenced off the fairgrounds side and also put up panels of fencing so that there’s one way in and one way out. To control people, we’re putting out on Facebook and social media only clear bags, clear purses,” said Panola County Sheriff Shane Phelps. “We have my department here, five-star security, and also the Mississippi Patrol and the Oxford PD Patrol, so we’re doing everything we can to make sure that this is safe for everyone that comes out.”