The South Carolina State Fair welcomes more than 20,000 guests on opening day

October 13, 2021

The 152nd anniversary South Carolina State Fair opened its gates to an enthusiastic crowd as 22,266 visitors flocked to the fairgrounds for the fair’s opening day, Oct. 13.

It marked the return of the full event after the fair offered a drive-through only event last year in the wake of COVID-19.

“It was exciting to see our patrons return to what has become a tradition for so many families in our state,” said S.C. State Fair general manager, Nancy Smith. “We are committed to doing everything possible to make this, as always, a safe and enjoyable fair.”

During Wednesday’s special $5 gate promotion, guests enjoyed many of the fair’s traditional favorites while lining up for several more recently added attractions including a daily CIRCUS at the Fair. The 40-minute show begins at 2 p.m., 4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. each day under a new big top tent beside the Ellison Building near the South Gate entrance. Entrance to CIRCUS at the Fair is free with gate admission.

The South Carolina State Fair continues through Oct. 24 at Rosewood Drive and George Rogers Boulevard, with optimal weather forecast for the remainder of the run.

“Our fair has such a rich history in this state, and we want to showcase what it has meant to so many people for so many years,” Smith said. “We look forward to having our state residents join us over the next 12 days to safely celebrate the best of South Carolina.”

The S.C. State Fair is following the latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s state and local COVID-19 guidelines. The fair also has implemented a mandatory clear bag policy similar to those put in place throughout Columbia and across the country, complying with a new level of security expected of large, heavily attended events and festivals.

To learn more about this years’ fair, the clear bag policy or other safety guidelines, visit SCStateFair.org.

The South Carolina State Fair, a self-supporting 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, was organized in 1869 and is dedicated to preserving and promoting South Carolina’s agricultural roots while supporting statewide education. In addition to the 12-day South Carolina State Fair, the charitable organization manages annual football parking, is a popular event venue and hosts Carolina Lights — Columbia’s downtown holiday drive-through lights show. The South Carolina State Fair has awarded more than $4 million in scholarships since 1997.