MEMPHIS -- This will be the 155th year for the Mid-South fair and it could be an important one with the fair facing an uncertain future. The Delta Fair is going on at the Agricenter and the popularity continues to grow.
The Mid-South Fair's numbers have shrunk each year since 2008 when it left Memphis. People aren't making the drive to the DeSoto Civic Center. So what will it take to revive the century old tradition?
"I just remember the fair, the Mid South fair being much bigger with lots of other things to offer," said visitor Judy Seeman. "I think it should have stayed in Memphis. It's a tradition."
A tradition she and her husband Bob, along with thousands of others, used to take part in. Now, the crowds have moved to the Delta Fair. But this Labor Day, the couple's remembering when the Mid-South Fair was the only game in town.
"We've gotten older and it's changed locations, which may be good for some people but it's a little far from us. We just haven't been in a good many years," Seeman told abc24.com.
Since the fair moved to the DeSoto Civic Center in 2008, the numbers have dropped from about 300,000 visitors to around 90,000.
"Anytime you move something that makes it tough," Mark Lovell told abc24.com.
As president of the Mid-South fair, it's Lovell's job to bring the people back. He told abc24.com he's up for the challenge.
"If I could be just a little bold, I have a two year contract to run the Mid-South Fair. If they extend my contract, I'm good at what I do. If I continue to run it I think it will be bigger and better," said Lovell.
Lovell's planning to bring in more rides this year and add more free shows, hoping the people will follow. It's worked for him at the Delta Fair the last five years and regulars like Andreini hope it will work with the Mid-South Fair.
This year's Mid-South Fair takes place September 23rd to October 2nd. It has a contract with the DeSoto Civic Center through 2014. After that, no one knows where it will go.