MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC-TV) - Locals said a sad and sentimental farewell Sunday to a community institution that has welcomed fall to the Mid-South since 1856.
The Mid-South Fair closed with a day of lasts: one last chance to pet the barnyard animals, one last time to share roasted corn at sunset, one last look at Midtown from atop the ferris wheel.
The fair was held at the fairgrounds in Memphis for the very last time. Next fall, the annual event will be celebrated in its new home in Tunica, Mississippi.
"I'd rather it stay in the City of Memphis," said fairgoer David Henderson. "I don't believe anybody is going to drive that far to Tunica, and I believe it ought to stay close to town."
Organizers said their lease with the city was not renewed. The city plans to redevelop the fairgrounds area, but there are no concrete plans so far.
"So, the money is going out of the city and not staying here," said fairgoer Demetria Thompson.
Many neighbors who live near the fairgrounds are especially disappointed by the fair's departure.
Ray Lee sells parking spaces and purses at a home adjacent to the fair. "It's kind of sad to me, 'cause ever since I was a kid, I've been down here with my sisters and brothers."
Many folks described it as the end of an era.