Styling: Elle Marie // Photography: Jordan Hefler
Hair: Cekeisha Williams // Makeup: Katrina Liza
Model: Shika Crayton
This must be the place, we thought. The Greater Baton Rouge State Fair this fall seemed the right setting to photograph our December style shoot. It felt like a seamless tie-in to a magazine edition that’s all about looking ahead to weekend fun in 2022. Plus, the breezy weather and neon lights are practically a primer for the season of twinkle lights and gift giving.
We grabbed some fun, colorful jackets—festive, but just light enough for the in-between weather this time of year—and off to the bright lights we went.
Even as you wait in the long line of cars along Airline Highway, you can hear the music, laughter and shrieks of joy in the distance. At the top of the Ferris wheel, spectators can get 100 feet above the crowd, taking in all the sights and sounds of the 40-something other rides below. The cool fall air is thick with the scents of barbecue, jambalaya and funnel cakes.
“We have the largest midway in south Louisiana,” says Cliff Barton, the Greater Baton Rouge State Fair’s CEO and board chairman. “Rides, games—there’s truly something for people of all ages.”
About 100,000 visitors walk through the fair’s gates every October and November. Run by volunteers, its proceeds are donated to an array of organizations and causes around the region, ranging from Line 4 Line to the Regional Burn Center at Baton Rouge General. As of 2021, Barton says the fair has donated more than $4.2 million since its first donation back in 1987.
“We have people who came when they were children, now bringing their kids and grandkids,” he says. Barton, who started as a volunteer himself back in the ’70s, now brings his own grandkids to the fair, beaming as he watches them film TikTok videos on their phones.
And as soon as the last customer walks through the gate, he’s already thinking about next year. The fair returns Oct. 27 to Nov. 6, 2022.
“Come out and make a memory that will last a lifetime,“ he says, “It’s what we do.” gbrsf.com
This article was originally published in the December 2021 issue of 225 magazine.