HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Food, fun, carnival rides, and wonderful weather. The first fair in Harrison County in more than 80 years ended its first day in Gulfport on Wednesday. Hundreds of people poured in the doors for the fair's opening day.
Maddie Dauzat, 6, and her friend, Marli Middleton, are so excited to have a fair close to their home and say they want to ride the Ferris Wheel.
"We love the fair," Maddie said.
They're not alone. Gulfport resident Lola Hernandez brought her whole family out to the fair. She said she's been waiting for this moment since she moved here back in 1999.
"It's the funnest ever, the best time. We've eaten a lot of food, and now we're going to go on rides. I think we did it backwards," Hernandez said.
Fair organizers say they've been working tirelessly to get this fair off the ground since February.
"It's something the kids need, something the community needs. The money we make goes directly back into the community," organizer Jourdan Hartshorn said.
Organizer Sheran Watkins agrees.
"We'll have top quality entertainment. It's good clean fun for families, and it's free," said Watkins.
To ride the rides, organizers say there's a separate cost, but there's plenty of free live music every day. A beauty pageant is scheduled for Thursday, hot air balloon rides on Saturday, even rodeos on Friday and Sunday.
Watkins is working in the exhibit hall and said it's a place for people to show off things they create, like quilts, art, and food.
"With the fair coming back, I've seen a sense of community with the fair board and with people volunteering. Everyone has played a part," said Watkins.
The fair is running Wednesday to Sunday.
Fair organizers say they've had at least 100 people show up to volunteer. They also said if you're interested in volunteering, there's still time. Just show up to the fair and say you want to help.