Oct. 9-20, 2024


Giving Back

Giving Back

The South Carolina State Fair is best known for bringing 12 days of exhibits, competitions, food, midway rides and entertainment to Columbia each fall. But the charitable organization’s reach into and impact on the community extends throughout the year.


Supporting statewide education has remained at the heart of the South Carolina State Fair’s mission. In 1997, the fair launched its Ride of Your Life Scholarship program and annually awards $500,000 in scholarships to South Carolina high school seniors planning to pursue their college studies in the state. The scholarships are currently $10,000 each and are awarded at $2,500 annually.  The South Carolina State Fair has given more than $5 million in scholarships since the start.  Since 2021, in addition to what the South Carolina State Fair awards, their ticketing partner, Circle K stores, has added additional scholarship funds making several more scholarships possible.   Find more information on the Ride of Your Life scholarship here.

Economic impact

Since its founding, the South Carolina State Fair has been an important economic contributor to the local economy, welcoming nearly 400,000 people from across the state and the Southeast region annually. The S.C. State Fair is an engine for more than $16.6 million in wages and total economic impact of more than $45.5 million.

Special gate promotions

The South Carolina State Fair proudly supports the community by offering a variety of free admission days throughout our annual fair. This includes free entry for all children five and under every day.  We have three special days honoring our heroes: Military Appreciation Days for active and retired military personnel with dependents. We also open our doors for free to participants in the Walk for Life and Famously Hot Pink Walk/Race, individuals with disabilities and a companion on Exceptional Citizens Day, and those seeking a calmer environment during Sensory-Friendly Morning. Science enthusiasts (Physics Day), future farmers (Future Farmers of America Day), and 4-H members all have their designated free day, and the popular free Lunch Bunch admission special from noon to 2 p.m. each weekday of the fair.

 Community Impact

The South Carolina State Fair impacts the community through its scholarship program, partnerships with non-profit and government organizations, and its six exhibit halls and 104 acres that are available for football parking and major event rentals throughout the year. 

Memories and Traditions

The South Carolina State Fair, going far beyond any other event in South Carolina, is a charitable organization promoting South Carolina’s roots and supporting the state of South Carolina. The fair offers a one-of-a-kind experience for 12 days in October with exhibits, competitions, food, rides, entertainment, a circus, agriculture, animals and much more.  For 150+ years the S.C. State Fair has been creating memories and traditions that last a lifetime.  Read stories that showcase the passion.

From Field to Fair

Since 1869, the mission of the South Carolina State Fair has been to promote the vital importance of agriculture in shaping South Carolina’s history and identity.  Through captivating exhibits and spirited competitions, the S.C. State Fair showcases the very best that local artisans and farmers have to offer.  By embracing agriculture in all its forms, the fair hopes to inspire a new generation to appreciate the timeless traditions that have shaped our state’s culture.  The S.C. State fair serves as an educational platform, fostering an understanding of the significance of agriculture in our lives and the importance of sustainable practices for our future.

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