• Image 1 of 27

Very Close and Personal: The 2010 Neshoba County Fair®

Michael Whitaker | Mississippi, United States

With more than 600 cabins, there are numerous "streets" and neighborhoods within the Fair grounds. This is a view down one such "street" of Fair cabins.

The Neshoba County Fair® began in Philadelphia, MS, in 1889.  It has been on the National Registry of Historic Places since 1980 and is affectionately known as Mississippi’s Giant Houseparty®.


The Fair is a campground fair during which most participants reside on Fair property in 600 cabins and 200 RV lots passed down from generation to generation.  There is a range of traditional fair events, including a midway, rodeo, mule races and pulls, harness and horse racing, farm-related competitions and numerous music venues.  However, interpersonal interactions and simple conversations are the glue that bind fairgoers together and has kept them coming back for over 100 years.

This project was greatly facilitated by the invaluable support of Sam Mars, Dawn Lea Chalmers, Kim Mills, John Wachob and Laura Thrash.  Special thanks also are due to the entire Mars family for permitting the photographer to use "The Mars Hangar" as an oasis from the oppressive mid-summer heat of the red clay hills of Mississippi.

More detailed information about the Fair may be found at:



After a twenty-five-year career in social psychology documenting some of the most disturbing human behaviors, I studied photography and began a second career in fine art and documentary photography toward the goal of spending the next twenty-five years documenting brighter aspects of the human condition.  In direct contrast to developing treatment paradigms for violent juvenile offenders and victims of child sexual abuse, I am drawn to projects focusing on the wonderment of individuality,  particularly in context of spotlighting unpretentious persons with gentle spirits and other persons who traditionally go unnoticed.


The full version of this project contains 104 B&W and 21 color photographs.  Additional photographs from this projects may be viewed via the following link to the photographer's personal website:


Content loading...

Make Comment/View Comments