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Oct. 11-22, 2023


Giving Back

The South Carolina State Fair is a self-supporting 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving and promoting South Carolina’s agricultural roots while supporting statewide education.  

The South Carolina State Fair has awarded more than $4 million in scholarships since 1997.   

The fair annually awards fifty (50) $10,000 scholarships to South Carolina high school students planning to pursue their studies at any public or private college, university, or technical college in the state. 

Read more about scholarships.

The South Carolina State Fair was founded in 1869, and its self-perpetuating governing board – the State Agricultural and Mechanical Society of South Carolina – has always sought to highlight the best of the state.

 In addition to our scholarship program, the South Carolina State Fair partners with countless non-profit organizations and partners to give back to the community.  Here are just a few examples:

  • In an effort to give back to the community in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the nonprofit South Carolina State Fair hosted its first-ever free, Drive-Through S.C. State Fair Oct. 21 – 22, 2020. In the midst of the worst global crisis of our lifetime, we wanted to give the community something positive to look forward to – ” said General Manager Nancy Smith. Guests enjoyed free admission to drive through the fairgrounds to experience unique, car-friendly attractions that highlight South Carolina’s agriculture, history, arts and culture — all from the comfort and safety of their cars. 
  • During the COVID-19 pandemic, the S.C. Fair Grounds were used as a testing site and as a location for distributing vaccines.
  • The South Carolina State Fair has often been the host to “Hudson’s Heroes Tackle Hunger” at the fairgrounds.  The event is a partnership with Jim Hudson Automotive Group, the Souper Bowl of Caring, Harvest Hope Food Bank and the South Carolina State Fair. Representatives from 20 Midlands-area high schools pack boxes of food for community members. In 2019, the students packed 4,000 boxes and 63,000 meals.
  • In 2015, the fair added a full day of $1 admission at the SC State Fair to recognize everyone who stepped up to help their neighbors during  the historic floods and  donated $200,000 from parking fees to help the Salvation Army and Harvest Hope Food Bank with their flood relief efforts.
  • In 2019, we were a sponsor of Senior Resources March for Meals 5k. In addition, our full-time staff members delivered Meals on Wheels, which provides home-delivered meals to elderly, frail and home-bound residents in Richland County.
  • Historic Columbia partnered with us to celebrate our 150thanniversary at Logan Elementary School. The students were educated about the original fairgrounds location on the current school grounds. Students participated in games played by children at the fair in the past, compared past and present fair activities and gained an understanding of the fair’s origination with a basis in agriculture.
  • We have partnered with Richland Library on its summer reading program, offering By One Get One (BOGO) admission tickets to those that complete the program.
  • The SC State Fair has partnered with Walk for Life and Famously Hot Pink Half Marathon for several years, offering free admission to participants who wear their official shirts to the fair on specified dates. In 2015, we joined forces with Walk for Life and had a PINK FAIR, bringing awareness to breast cancer preventionDuring the PINK FAIR, South Carolina State Fair donated $50,000 to Palmetto Health (now Prisma Health) to purchase the first ever (in Columbia, SC) 3D mammography machine.
  • We were a sponsor for Pawmetto Lifeline’s Bark to the Park in 2019, and we held a community pet supply drive, “Bring Your Donations to the Rocket!”
  • May brings Richland Recycles to the fairgrounds.
  • For the last several years, the South Carolina State Fair has partnered with the Salvation Army on their Christmas Toy Shop program.
  • Often fair entertainers will visit Prisma Health Children’s Hospital and entertain some of the children.
  • Learn what is beyond rides and food with the S. C. State Fair.


The South Carolina State Fair seeks to benefit the citizens of South Carolina. For more information on the South Carolina State Fair partnerships, please contact

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