Gov. Tate Reeves says the Mississippi State Fair is not a social gathering and is not subject to his statewide restrictions regarding COVID-19.
“It’s more of a business operation than it is a social gathering,” Reeves said Friday during his live news conference. “The revenues that are generated actually help maintain the fairgrounds and other things.”
Reeves amended the Safe Return Executive Order this week, but the current version mandates that public and private social gatherings and recreational activities shall be limited to groups of no more than 100 people in an outdoor space where they are able to maintain social distancing and 50 people where they are not.
The fair also has multiple events in indoor spaces, limited under Executive Order 1522 to 20 people where social distancing can be maintained and 10 where it cannot.
Fair goers and workers will be subject to some of the restrictions nonetheless.
“They’re going to have basically a safety marshal to oversee it,” said State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs. “They’re going to ensure masks. They’re going to screen for people going in. They’re going to maintain social distancing. They’re going to have spacing on the rides. So, it’s going to be pretty well engineered.”
The current Executive Order expires Sept. 30. The fair is scheduled to begin Oct. 7 and run through Oct. 18.
“I do not believe that I will have to amend any executive order to allow for the state fair, which I have been very involved in as has Dr. Dobbs, in making sure they do things differently,” Reeves said.
Typically, the Mississippi State Fair attracts thousands of visitors and employs hundreds of workers from around the region. For more information, visit the fair website.