By Brian Livingston / firstname.lastname@example.org
The Meridian Star
It was quite possible to feel the air circulate nicely at times given the number of hand fans that were being waved in and around the Founder's Square Pavilion Wednesday during Meridian Day.
But even that didn't seem to take away much of the humidity and heat that has become so much a part of the fair in years past. Still, hundreds of people milled around and sat under the pavilion or visited Meridian Day booths set up where a fan could be readily secured.
Representatives of Naval Air Station Meridian, MSU Meridian, Meridian Community College and Anderson Regional Medical Center Health Systems manned booths to inform visitors on Meridian Day, which brought out Meridian leaders such as Mayor Cheri Barry, City Councilman George Thomas and Lauderdale County Supervisor Josh Todd.
"We are so honored to be a part of the Neshoba County Fair each year and I think that shows you the partnership we have with Neshoba County and Philadelphia," Barry said.
A line of politicians progressed up to the podium to either tout their triumphs or to jab at their political opposites. But for Meridian Day, it was more of a congratulatory salute to the people of Neshoba County and those many others who support the fair.
"We enjoy and appreciate the partnership we have with our neighbors here in Neshoba County," Thomas said. "We enjoy coming here each year to meet old friends and to make new ones. Relationships that we hope will grow and benefit us all."
Todd also hoped the continued relationship with Neshoba County would prosper and show dividends for each county.
"We are ready to help and serve you any way we can," Todd told the crowd. "We appreciate your support."
All around the square and up and down the lanes, people sat eating, drinking lemonade and iced tea, and generally enjoying the company of others despite a heat index expected to reach 105 degrees. Doug and Bet Deweese were typical in their Southern Hospitality aimed directly at those young men and women who serve our country and train at NAS Meridian.
"We've been doing this for 25 years now and we love doing it," said Bet Deweese as a platoon of military personnel marched past toward the jambalaya, fried chicken, potato salad and banana pudding. "This is our way of saying, 'Thank you.' We are trying to give them some home cooking while they are away from home."