Donald Trump Jr., son of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, makes his way to the grandstand to deliver a campaign speech at the Neshoba County Fair on Tuesday.
Donald Trump Jr., son of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, makes his way to the grandstand to deliver a campaign speech at the Neshoba County Fair on Tuesday.

PHILADELPHIA — Several thousand people gathered at the Neshoba County Fair Tuesday afternoon to hear Donald Trump Jr. talk about his father’s candidacy for president.

“This isn’t a campaign anymore, this is a movement,” Trump said. “You have proven that today here in Mississippi. Wow.”

Trump spoke for about five minutes, referring to his father’s position on several issues and expressing his appreciation for Mississippi’s support. (Donald J. Trump won the Mississippi Republican presidential primary earlier this year.) He even remarked on appearing on the same stage from which Ronald Reagan kicked off his 1980 presidential campaign at the Neshoba County Fair.

Massive Trump signs and handmade banners hung from many balconies of the fair’s famous cabins, and droves of fairgoers wore “Trump/Pence” apparel. Some even donned Trump masks and capes. One cabin behind the stage where Trump spoke bore a handmade sign that read “Trump Tower.”

Fred Poole, 68, from Meridian, wore a Trump T-shirt.

“I drove here for the day to see Trump,” he said. “I’ve seen many political candidates at the fair over the years, including Reagan. But I can’t think of one I’ve been more excited about.”

Trump arrived at the fairgrounds around 3 p.m. and stopped at numerous cabins with Gov. Phil Bryant and U.S. Rep. Gregg Harper before making his way to the horse track Grandstand for a speech around 4 p.m.

Gov. Phil Bryant, left, accompanies Donald Trump Jr. through the crowd of supporters at the Neshoba County Fair on Tuesday.

There, a couple of thousand Trump supporters gathered, initiating “Trump! Trump! Trump!” and “USA” chants while patriotic songs blared from the loudspeakers.

“Many people have said my father is an unlikely voice for the people,” Trump said. “He’s actually speaking for you. He’s giving a voice to the people who have made this country great.”

The fairgrounds weren’t totally a Trump festival. One cabin displayed a pro Hillary Clinton sign — though it was located a few doors from a “Hillary for Prison” sign.

Fairgoer Kelli Nichols said people on opposite political sides are polite with each other.

“It’s like any other value in the South. We take our sports seriously. We take our religion seriously and we take our politics seriously,” Nichols said.

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Adam Ganucheau, as Mississippi Today's editor-in-chief, oversees the newsroom and works with the editorial team to fulfill our mission of producing high-quality journalism in the public interest. Adam has covered politics and state government for Mississippi Today since February 2016. A native of Hazlehurst, Adam has worked as a staff reporter for, The Birmingham News and The Clarion-Ledger and his work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post and Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Adam earned his bachelor’s in journalism from the University of Mississippi.

Ryan L. Nave, a native of University City, Mo., served as Mississippi Today's editor-in-chief from May 2018 until April 2020. Ryan began his career with Mississippi Today February 2016 as an original member of the editorial team. He became news editor August 2016. Ryan has a bachelor’s in political science from the University of Missouri-Columbia and has worked for Illinois Times and served as news editor for the Jackson Free Press.

5 replies on “Donald Trump Jr. fires up Neshoba fairgoers”

  1. Win or lose, just how much love and respect will these slick New York real estate developers show Mississippi after the campaign?

  2. The Trumps are all lowlifes. They are a throwback to the days of Bilbo , et al, in better suits

  3. What do you expect from a bunch of trumpette bigots? Like father like sons. The father controls the money and none of these racist offspring will every defy their egotistical, narcissistic, aging, lying, draft dodging bigoted father. These rich white trash really believe their dumbass father will win the presidency. I have a message for them – THE AMERICAN PUBLIC IS MUCH TOO SMART TO VOTE FOR THAT BIGOT TRUMP. And note that they started this “foray” in Mississippi, THE DUMBEST AND POOREST STATE IN THE UNION. That figures.

    1. They chose that specific location like Reagan did in 1980. Reagan went there after he won the nomination, although it wasn’t a swing state. He went to pick up the George Wallace vote base. There is video of Reagan shaking hands at the all white rally. Mississippi isn’t a swing state today either but the trumps are there to get the same base behind him.

  4. A Reagan-style embrace of bigots won’t work this time. There just aren’t enough of them anymore. Thank God.

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