Gallery: The 161st Mississippi State Fair, where ‘a mask is a matter of personal preference’

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The Mississippi State Fair opened this week and runs until Oct. 18.

As other states including North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia and Maryland cancelled their state fairs this year due to COVID-19 concerns, Mississippi’s opened on Wednesday.

The Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce advises people who do not feel well or have underlying medical conditions stay home. Fair rides will be sanitized after each ride and hand sanitizer will be available on the fairgrounds, the department said.

“By coming to the Fair, you acknowledge and agree that you assume these inherent risks associated with attendance,” Agriculture Commissioner Andy Gipson said in a statement.

The state is no longer under a statewide mask mandate, though fair workers and vendors are required to wear masks. As for fairgoers, “Wearing a mask is a matter of personal preference,” Gipson said.

“We strongly encourage fairgoers to bring a mask in case they are not able to socially distance. We will have masks at the gate for fairgoers that may need one.”

Here are images from the 161st Mississippi State Fair: