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fair ride
The Mid-South Fair :: Our August Nonprofit of the Month

The Mid-South Fair is a nonprofit community service organization headquartered in Southaven, Mississippi. The legendary organization is dedicated to providing a safe, family-oriented entertainment for all on an annual basis. Since the first fair was held in 1856, the event has strived to educate those living in the Mid-South and to provide opportunities to grow and showcase their talents by granting scholarships, as well as hosting art contests, competitive youth talent competitions ,and more.

So many in the tri-state area grew up going to the Mid-South Fair. Thousands have fond memories of chowing down on piping hot Pronto Pups, riding rides such as the Zippin' Pippin', and if they were lucky, catching a future superstar perform on the main stage or as part of the Youth Talent Contest. Over the years, the fair has evolved, grown, relocated, and increased attendance, despite rapidly changing times. The reason? Well, the Mid-South Fair has so much to offer that it’s hard to pinpoint just one.

Youth Talent Contest

Each year, the Mid-South Fair hosts its Youth Talent Contest for those ages 9-12. Hundreds of submissions are collected and a lineup is carefully selected by the Youth Talent Contest board of directors. The competition lasts several days, with a grand champion being awarded a cash prize, a scholarship of more than $30,000 to Visible Music College, and an all-expenses-paid trip to New York City or Los Angeles to audition with CBS Studios.

The competition is consistently fierce, with dozens of past participants reaching stardom. Elvis, Justin Timberlake, Michael Buble and Lucy Hale have all performed on the Mid-South Fair Youth Talent Contest stage. By giving youth and young adults a platform to showcase their talents, the fair hopes to play a small role in the development of the stars of tomorrow.

fiar talent winner

Youth Art Contest

In an effort to promote creativity and education, the Mid-South Fair partners with area schools to gather artwork for its annual Youth Art Contest. Artists of all ages provide beautiful drawings, paintings, sculptures and more that are put on display at the Landers Center grounds during the fair. First through seventh-place winners are awarded cash prizes of up to $500.

The level of work seems to get better and better every year. The Mid-South has a plethora of gifted artists on its hands, and the fair is thrilled to provide an opportunity to reward their dedication to the craft.

fair art

A Place for the Family

The Mid-South Fair has always been, at its heart, a family-centered organization. We want to bring people of all ages together to celebrate the Mid-South, and each other, by promoting fun, hands-on activities and educational attractions unique to the South. Every year, we aim to make this experience accessible to any child and their family. This year, on Sept. 25 from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., we’re inviting all exceptional children and their guardian to join us at the Fair, free of admission, as part of our Exceptional Kids Day.

Live Music

The live music schedule the fair orchestrates each year is undoubtedly a huge draw for fair attendees. From country to R&B to rock and roll, fair officials strive to develop a roster that will appeal to a broad audience. Big names have appeared at the Mid-South Fair over the last five years. This year, special guests include Aaron Carter, Asher Angel, and The Band Perry, who are slated to perform the week of Sept. 21-28. To make this talent more accessible to the masses, these concerts are free with fair admission.

Elvis at the Fair
Elvis at the Fair


The fair is so much more than just a fair. It was, is, and always will be a place where wonderful memories are created that children and adults alike look back on for years to come. It sure has been a fun ride thus far, and the nonprofit looks forward to the good times that will be had Sept. 19-29 at this year’s Mid-South Fair.


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