Located in the northern part of the state, Lafayette (pronounced la-FAY-ette locally) County is bordered (going from west clockwise) by Panola, Tate, Marshall, Union, Pontotoc, Calhoun, and Yalobusha Counties. Its county seat is Oxford, famous for being the longtime home of William Faulkner and the site of the University of Mississippi.

Laws regarding the sale of alcoholic beverages are determined locally by the county in Mississippi as a compromise between the anti-Prohibitionists and (generally speaking) the Baptists. Lafayette is a wet county with some restrictions. Alcohol may be sold Monday through Thursday until midnight, and on Fridays and Saturdays until 1 am. No alcohol may be sold on Sunday. In addition, only restaurants and bars may serve beer cold, which results in large stacks of cases of beer piled around in convenience stores. In accordance with state law, hard liquor may only be sold for immediate consumption by establishments which also sell food, although such liquor is of course also available from package stores.

Although there are quite a few creeks, the only two actual rivers to flow through the county are the Yocona (pronounced YOCK-na) and Little Tallahatchie. The largest body of water within the county is the Sardis Reservoir (located northwest of Oxford), originally created by the Army Corps of Engineers, and the reservoir and the area around it have been created a state park; the park is a frequent day-vacation spot for university students and lifelong locals alike. The only other large body of water, Enid Lake, is southwest of Oxford.

The county is, of course, like many other places in the United States, named after the Marquis de Lafayette, the French general who aided the original thirteen colonies during the Revolutionary War.

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