All is Fair in Love and Popcorn

Melissa Amato

My how times have changed.  I learn that I say that a lot lately in terms of almost anything.  The cost of things such as events or technology.  Some for the better and some for the worse.  There are not many times that you can say that something you attended as a child has grown into something much more for you as an adult with your family.  That is what the St. Margaret Mary Fair was when I was a kid at Slidell Jr. High School.  It was “the” thing to do that weekend.  You were dropped off with $15 by your parents with your friends and were to be picked up at the close of the fair that night.  Back in 1993, there was a few rides, one concession stand spot and that was it.  They had the gravitron, squirrel cages if you were bold enough, and the black spyder amongst other rides.  My, how things have changed and for the better!  The St. Margaret Mary Fair or as they called it this year, The Craft and Food Fair has grown exponentially since I was in Junior High. 

The rides seemed cleaner and more organized with the North American Midway Entertainment providing the staff for this year’s fair.  “It is a first class operation” states Marcia Daigle, chairwoman of the SMM Fair.  The fair had a special section for children sized 36” to 54” and no smoking was allowed in this section.  There were more rides for those height sizes too!  There is also an area in the back that had games for your 3-5 year olds where you win prizes which is a great addition.  Also, the most interesting “ride” at the fair was the Hamster Ball.  This is where you get in a clear ball and float on the water like you would in a hamster ball.  Very cool.  Whether you were riding in Kiddieland or goofing around in the Cuckoo Haus, a fun time was sure had by all. 

One difference that is a welcome change were the craft vendors.  Whether you were looking for jewelry or sacraments, you were in the right place.  Fleur de Ladies owners, Debbie Miller and Vicki Fredricks showcased their Saints and LSU jewelry and home décor.  Even though our boys are having a hard time this year, it doesn’t mean you have to suffer fashionably.  Black, purple and gold are always in fashion!  Catholic Creations showcased their beautiful yet durable sacraments.  Johanna Braud, is a stay a home mom who has been working with her Mom for 12 years creating durable rosaries for children so that they will use it and learn to pray.  These two vendors were amongst at least 30 craft vendors inside and outside the auditorium ranging from costumes to scentsy! 

“I’m still dizzy from riding all the rides with my 9 yr. old daughter, Sadie” stated Louis Ochoa from Nola Southern Grill.  “This is a great, record-breaking year” he stated about the sales at the Fair.  The best sellers were the crawfish pasta and the alligator sausage, no surprise there!  This is their second year at the Fair and will not be their last.  There were at least 10 food vendors on food vendor row with everything from lemonade to crawfish pasta. 

“We need more lemons for lemonade” stated Mrs. Daigle as we talked about attendance.  “That has to mean something” and it definitely does!  Although there way to calculate a definite headcount, the staff at the SMM Fair expected 30,000 people over the entire weekend of the 46th annual festivities.  The Fair will be held every 3rd weekend in October indefinitely which is great for all families in the Slidell and surrounding areas.   I already cannot wait until next year!  For more information on the fair, please check out






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